Taormina unveils strong lineup

World preem of 'Toy Story 3'; De Niro among guests

The 56th Taormina Film Festival unveiled its strongest lineup in recent memory on Monday, comprising the world preem of Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” international launches of U.K. helmer Gareth Edwards’ hot sci-fier “Monsters” and Neil LaBute’s “Death at a Funeral,” with Robert De Niro among expected guests.

Directed by Lee Unkrich, “Toy Story 3” will bow Saturday in 3D on a giant outdoor screen in the Sicilian resort’s monumental ancient Greek theater, built 2,300 years ago.

Taormina artistic director Deborah Young is touting this as the world’s first outdoor 3D bow, adding that Pixar techies were on-site sorting out logistics. The screening itself, for 3,000 people, will cost more than $100,000.

Alfonso Arau’s “The Trick in the Sheet,” starring Maria Grazia Cucinotta, will have its Euro preem out-of-competition, alongside Edwards’ “Monsters” — its first outing since its South by Southwest Festival bow. LaBute will be on hand for the screening of his “Death at a Funeral” remake.

Taormina’s Mediterranean competition will include the world preem of Spanish helmer Jorge Coira’s “18 comidas” (18 Meals) and of bittersweet comedy “Dalla vita in poi,” by first-timer Gianfrancesco Lazotti, from RAI Cinema.

The fest’s Beyond the Mediterranean competish will host the international bows of “The Circle” by Emirati filmmaker Nawaf Al-Janahi, and Brazilian black comedy “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by Anna Muylaert.

Both Spain and Brazil are being honored with spotlights.

As previously announced, Taormina will fete De Niro and Emir Kusturica, who will both hold master classes.

The fest closes June 18.

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