Stars heed call of Capri fest

Film festival brings out celebs

Forest Whitaker, Samuel L. Jackson, Sidney Lumet and producers Ryan Kavanaugh and Lawrence Bender are among the sizeable American contingent set to disembark on the Italian island of Capri for the 13th Capri Hollywood Film Festival that kicks off Dec. 26.

The small but increasingly star-studded shindig, chaired by producer Mark Canton and headed by Italo TV journo Pascal Vicedomini, also is expecting Joseph Fiennes, Dennis Hopper, Heather Graham and “Doubt” helmer John Patrick Shanley along with a rich lineup of Hollywood pics.

“Doubt,” “Australia,” “The Brothers Bloom,” “Hurricane Season,” “The Spirit,” Paul Newman-narrated documentary “The Meerkat,” “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” and the TV series “Crash” are all unspooling in Capri’s medieval Certosa monastery. Most titles will make their European bows in this eight-day, noncompetitve showcase.

Bender, who is arriving from the German set of Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” Kavanaugh and Canton will trade takes with their Italo industry counterparts in a confab on prospects for global partnerships amid the current financial maelstrom.

Terry Gilliam, a Capri fest regular, will head a jury to pick a winning short in a contest for young helmers titled “The Other Side of Gomorrah,” which aims to nurture local talent and show nearby Naples and its surrounding region in a more positive light than Matteo Garrone’s dark Neapolitan mob drama “Gomorrah.”

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