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‘Man of Steel’ Set to Open Taormina Festival

Eight-day event will showcase 30 films plus web skeins

The 59th Taormina Film Festival will open with Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot “Man of Steel” on June 15 at the town’s ancient Greek amphitheater.

Eight-day event on the Italian island of Sicily is gearing up to showcase 30 films, seven shorts and five docus, along with 10 master class programs.

This year fest explores horror and comedy as the deepest appeals of the bigscreen, per general manager Tiziana Rocca.

Rocca joins artistic director Mario Sesti — both in their second year — at the helm.

The fest will continue to shine the spotlight, as it did last year, on web cinema. Preems will include skeins such as Amanda Flor’s “Marduk,” described as a combo of caustic cynicism and “South Park”-esque antics, among others.

“This year’s program features novelties aimed at attracting people from all over the world with ad hoc initiatives and the involvement of many leading foreign partners who have acknowledged the strategic relevance of the festival in terms of business opportunities and synergies,” Rocca said.

Daily program will feature the TaoClass, during which students and cinephiles will get the chance to interact with thesps and helmers, a centerpiece on Russian cinema and a program blending horror and comedy.

Fest will flaunt its charitable side with a handful of socially committed events and kudos, such as the Humanitarian Taormina Award, which will be presented to Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Last year’s nod went to thesp Sean Penn and Father Rick Frechette for their help in bringing aid to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.

Other kudos to be handed out include the Taormina Arte Award for career recognition, the Cariddi Award for Italian helmers, the Citta di Taormina for young TV talent and the award for online skein.

TFF has forged partnerships with Buenos Aires’ Pintalla Festival as well as the Project Taormina Campus, which will host students from Virginia U., Alabama’s Auburn U., Spain’s Cordoba U. and Poland’s Krakow U.

Fest is promoted by the Committee Taormina Arte and sponsored by the Regional Dept. of Tourism of Sicily and the Cinema Dept. of the Ministry of Culture.

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