'Rain Man' Screenwriter Barry Morrow to Chair Capri Hollywood Film Fest

Barry Morrow - Premiere for Remember Sunday-H 2016
Ben Horton/FilmMagic

Morrow recently wrapped shooting on his directorial debut in Italy.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Barry Morrow will chair the upcoming Capri Hollywood International Film Festival, which takes place over the new year on the picturesque Italian island.

The Rain Man scribe will lead activities for the annual festival, which is held during the prime period of Oscar season campaigning. This year’s fest is dedicated to the life of producer Dino De Laurentiis, who was a frequent visitor to the Blue Island.

Morrow has a long-standing relationship with Italy. He recently wrapped his directorial debut, Smitten!, in the country. The film stars Glee’s Darren Criss as a fashion exec who is kidnapped in Milan and taken to a remote Alpine village that is under a romantic spell. Madalina Ghenea and Angela Molina also star.

This year’s festival will be focused on issues of social justice and international politics. Morrow will present the Capri European Movie Award to Gianfranco Rosi for Fire at Sea, his documentary about the current refugee crisis. The film won the Golden Bear in Berlin this year and is Italy’s Oscar hopeful for best foreign-language film. Fire at Sea also is being submitted in the best documentary category.

Morrow also will preside over the festival’s “Cinema for Mercy” international short film contest, focusing on pics around the theme of mercy as a dedication to the Jubilee Year of Mercy inaugurated by Pope Francis.

“The screening of Fire at Sea, a docu-film which depicts the dramatic situation of the migrants in Lampedusa and their interaction with the heroic island inhabitants, adds to the spirit of our festival, which aims to be a place of exchange between film cultures, of opportunity for young authors as well as an important showcase of high quality movies at the height of the awards season,” fest director Pascal Vicedomini said in a statement.

Morrow won the best screenplay Oscar in 1989 along with Ronald Bass for Rain Man, which was inspired by his real-life friendship with mega-savant Kim Peek. The film won three other Oscars that year including best picture, best director and best actor for Dustin Hoffman.

The 21st Capri Hollywood International Film Festival is set to run Dec. 26-Jan. 2.