Taormina Film Festival Kicks Off in Italy

Jack Black, Oliver Stone among big names attending the festival, where Jeffrey Katzenberg was also honored over the weekend.

The 57th edition of the Taormina Film Festival got underway this weekend, with the premiere of Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D along with Italy’s first-ever 3D feature, and with comic actor Jack Black and Italian starlet Monica Bellucci under the spotlight.
The cliff-side Sicilian festival, which will conclude next Saturday, got off to a strong start with the festival’s famous Teatro Antico screening Kung Fu Panda 2 -- an unusual juxtaposition of cutting edge technology and a 2,300-year old venue -- that continued Taormina’s tradition of serving as a launching pad for high profile Hollywood films.
Kung Fu Panda 2 was followed by horror film Parking Lot, Italy’s entry into the 3D film world.
Black, part of the star-studded cast lending their voices to Kung Fu Panda 2, was a hit with festival goers, while Jeffrey Katzenberg was honored with the Hollywood Reporter’s Award for Cinematic Excellence.
On Saturday, Bellucci was presented the Taormina Art Award in the Teatro Grande amid the popping flashes of paparazzi, and on Sunday the same prize went to film director Oliver Stone, also at the festival for the screening of Alexander Revisited: the Final Unrated Cut, also in Teatro Grande.
Franco-Tunisian producer Tarak Ben-Ammar will receive the third Taormina Art Award on Thursday.
Deborah Young
, Taormina’s artistic director, is also The Hollywood Reporter’s chief European film critic.