Taormina bows 'Transformers'

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"Transformers," Paramount's big-budget summer action film from Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg, will have its world premiere at the Taormina Film Festival, first-year artistic director Deborah Young said Tuesday.

Young said the premiere will represent the first time a major U.S. film of that stature has premiered at the 53-year-old Italian festival.

Director Michael Bay, several cast members and executives from Paramount Pictures will arrive by helicopter in an elaborate ceremony just before the June 21 screening.

The science-fiction film about an invasion of Earth by transformer robot armies will open elsewhere on the planet July 4.

"We think the decision to premiere 'Transformers' in Taormina shows a renewed interest in the festival, and it illustrates the strong ties between this Mediterranean festival and American cinema," Young said in an interview.

Taormina, located on the island of Sicily, will host the festival June 16-22.
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