Turkey center stage in Taormina

Screenings, cinema roundtable among events

TAORMINA, Italy -- Turkish cinema was in the spotlight at the Taormina Film Festival on Thursday, with director Ferzan Ozpetek kicking things off with a special cinema roundtable discussion and Zeki Demirkubuz's "Kader" (Destiny) among the day's key screenings.

Ozpetek made his first major appearance of the festival Wednesday, when he was pulled onto the stage at the Green Theater to act as an impromptu Italian-to-Turkish translator for Paolo Villaggio, the 75-year-old Italian comic actor.

Friday will be the heaviest day for Turkish films, with screenings of half a dozen Turkish films including the world premiere of Ozay Fecht's short "The Touch" and Fatih Akin's Lola winner "The Edge of Heaven," part of the Turkish gala in the Greek Theater hosted by Turkish actress Serra Yilmaz.

The world premiere of Mary McGuckian's "Inconceivable" was the main event Thursday evening at the festival's 3,000-year-old Greek Theater.