Giffoni sets titles for fest

ROME — Timothy Hutton’s directing debut, “Digging to China,” starring Kevin Bacon and Mary Stuart Masterson, and Bob Swaim’s “The Climb,” with John Hurt and David Strathairn, are among the titles chosen for the main competition of the 27th Giffoni Intl. Film Festival, which runs July 20-27 in the Southern Italian town.

One of the world’s oldest and most established forums for children’s films, the event’s growing popularity in recent years reflects the increased attention in many worldwide markets to kidpics and family films.

Other competition titles include: Avery Crounse’s “Cries of Silence” and Manny Coto’s “The Warrior of Waverly Street,” both from the U.S.; Kit Hood’s “Dancing on the Moon” (Canada); Giorgio Fabris’ “Frigidaire” (Italy); and the Spanish-Portuguese co-production “Secrets of the Heart,” by Montxo Armendariz Barrios.

As an illustration of the boost in production of family films in Scandinavia, three titles from the region also will compete. These are: Stellan Olsson’s “Fleas Bark Too, Don’t They?”; Soren Kragh Jakobsen’s “The Island on Bird Street,” from Denmark; and the Norwegian-Danish-German co-production “Mendel,” by Alexander Rosler.

An additional three competition titles are still to be announced by fest artistic director Claudio Gubitosi.

Guests slated to attend Giffoni this year include Al Pacino, Roland Emmerich and Charlton Heston.

Representatives of various technical fields will give classes during the fest, illustrating their contribution to the filmmaking process to an audience of children. These include special effects maestro Carlo Rambaldi, director Gabriele Salvatores, cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and veteran screenwriter Leo Benvenuti.

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