Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere and Slew Of Stars Set To Attend Italy’s Taormina Film Festival

Warner Bros. marketing maven Sue Kroll to be feted

600 Miles
Courtesy of the Berlin Film Festival

ROME – Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, Patricia Arquette, Rosario Dawson, and Dolph Lundgren are among Hollywood stars booked to make the trek to Italy’s Taormina Film Fest, the Sicilian shindig mixing movies and glamour where Warner Bros. president of worldwide marketing and international distribution Sue Kroll will be feted with a Taormina Arte Award.

As previously announced, Disney/Pixar’s 3D “Inside Out” will open Taormina’s 61st edition in the seaside town’s 8,000-seat open-air ancient Greek theater, segueing from its Cannes world preem, on June 13, ahead of the hot summer pic’s U.S. release June 19.

The closer will be Tim Roth-starrer “600 Miles,” (pictured) the gritty gunrunning thriller set on the U.S.-Mexico border, the directorial debut of producer Gabriel Ripstein, who will be attending.
Pic made a splash in Berlin.

More than one hundred titles will be sandwiched in-between, including a selection of recent U.S, indie standouts selected by Variety critics. Besides “600 Miles,” these comprise actress Marielle Heller’s feature directing debut, “The Diaryof a Teenage Girl,” both out-of competition.

In competition the Variety selection sees Italy-set romance/horror genre hybrid “Spring,” co-directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead; Jon Watts’ B-movie-like “Cop Car,” starring Kevin Bacon as a corrupt small-town sheriff; and SXSW grand jury award-winner “Krisha” by first-timer Trey Edward Shults.

Taormina’s new competition, judged by a panel of film-buff students, will kick off with Jean-Baptiste Leonetti’s Michael Douglas thriller “The Reach.”

Fest general manager Tiziana Rocca is more in control of the lineup this year, since her former artistic director Mario Sesti recently stepped down, replaced by a four-member selection committee.
She has doubled the number of movies compared with last year’s edition.

Rocca, a marketing guru who took over four years ago as general manager,also boasts that she has “brought international stars back, giving Taormina the opportunity to return to its former splendour.”

Asia Argento will be master of ceremonies.

Taormina’s glam, and also humanitarian, component will also comprise an event for the United Nation’s Fashion 4 Development charity, hosted by Vogue Italy editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani.

Universal’s 3D “Jurassic World” will screen in the Greek theater June 11 as a pre-opening event.

Italy’s state film entity Istituto Luce will provide a sidebar of docs made with materials from its vast archives. A cutting-edge section will focus on web-series.

The 61st edition of the fest will run June 13-20.