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The music side of the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest took center stage Thursday, with a special musical performance from Kid Creole and the Coconuts and a surprise appearance from 86-year-old Italian musical icon Teddy Reno.
Award-winning Neapolitan saxophonist James Senese, whose father is from the U.S., Swiss rocker George Merk, and Italian world music fixture Giovanni Imparato also played at the end-of-the day dinner and party hosted by Ischia founder and artistic director Pascal Vicedomini.
The film side of the ten-year-old Ishia festival was not forgotten Thursday: the day’s main screening was Timur Bekmambetov’s big-budget action fantasy film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, in which the 16th U.S. president secretly battles to eliminate vampires threatening to take over the country. Benjamin Walker, who plays Lincoln in the film, and co-protagonist Dominic Cooper, who plays Lincoln’s vampire slaying mentor Henry Sturgess, were on hand for the Italian premiere of the film, which will go into wide release in Italy July 20.
STORY: Taviani Brothers and Monica Bellucci Honored at Ischia Fest
In his remarks, Vicedomini compared to Walker to acclaimed actor Michael Fassbender, who came to the Ischia festival in 2009, calling Walker “one of the next great actors.”
After the screening during a break in the back-to-back-to-back, Italian actress Monica Bellucci presented Walker with a special prize in recognition of their work on the film.
“Starting out,I thought that the joy of making movies was collaborating with other people or storytelling,” Walker said upon receiving the award. “But now I realize the main joy is coming here to Ischia and his fantastic festival.”
After the film, the festival also presented Italian film producers Grazia Volpi and Mario Gianani with Ischia Awards as producers of the year.
The festival, which got underway July 7, concludes Sunday.
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