'Transformers,' premieres topline Taormina fest

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ROME -- A quartet of world premieres will join the international launch of Michael Bay's big-budget summer film "Transformers" as highlights of the 53rd annual Taormina Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

While Paramount/DreamWorks' "Transformers" is hitting screens in South Korea and Australia a few days earlier, the Taormina event will serve as the film's official launch, with Bay and star Shia LaBeouf expected to be on hand for the June 21 screening.

The festival will include four true world premieres: Stefano Incerti's anti-Mafia film "L'Uomo di Vetro" (The Glass Man), Moroccan travel film "Two Women on the Road" from Farida Bourquia, the drama "Fuerte Apache" from Spain's Jaime Matteo Adrover and French crime picture "13 M2" from Barthelemy Grossman.

The Mediterranean competition will include Incerti's "L'Uomo di Vetro," "Adem in Trenleri" (Adam and the Devil) from Turkey's Baris Pirhasan, Adrover's "Fuerte Apache," "Akher Film" (Making Of) from Tunisia's Nouri Bouzid, Grossmann's "13 M2" and "Hofshtkaits" (My Father My Lord) from Israeli director David Volach.

Other significant screenings include "Good Time Max" from actor-director James Franco, "Kings" from Tom Collins, Russia's "Kremen" (Flint) from Aleksei Mizgiryov, Japanese director Masaki Hamamoto's "Akanezora" (Beyond the Crimson Sky), "XXY" from Argentina's Lucia Puenzo and "Pazachut na Murtvite" (Warden of the Dead) from Ilian Simeonov of Bulgaria.

Tony Bill's "Flyboys" will open the festival June 16.

The jury will be headed by Argentinean director Luis Puenzo, Tribeca's Peter Scarlet, Egyptian director Marwan Hamed and Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic.

On June 20, the festival's 2,300-year-old Greek Theater will host a gala to celebrate the centennial of Egyptian cinema. Additionally, Sicilian helmer Giuseppe Tornatore -- best known for the 1990 Oscar winner "Cinema Paradiso" -- will be feted with a complete retrospective of his works.

The Taormina Film Festival runs June 16-22.
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