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Nicholas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson to star at Ischia

Film, music fest kicks off with Luchino Visconti tribute

12 July, 16:20
Nicholas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson to star at Ischia (By Denis Greenan).

(ANSA) - Naples, July 12 - Nicholas Cage and Samuel L.

Jackson are among the Hollywood heavyweights bringing their star wattage to the 11th Ischia Global Film and Music Fest this weekend.

Cage, a Hollywood veteran with credits like Raising Arizona and Face Off to his name, and Jackson, the Pulp Fiction, Iron Man and Django Unchained star, are arguably the headline names at this year's event.

But many Hollywood names are slated for attendance at the festival on the island in the Bay of Naples, which kicks off Saturday. Director Paul Haggis, who won two Oscars for the screenplay and directing of Crash in 2007, will also be coming to the fest.

The British screenwriter and director will be presenting his latest work, Third Person, a tale of three couples in New York, Paris and Rome that "in many ways recalls the way Crash tried to interweave different stories, races and classes into a coherent story," Haggis said on his arrival this week.

"I am honoured to give Third Person its world premiere in Ischia," said Haggis, who also wrote the screenplay for Clint Eastwood's Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby in 2006.

He said his film, which features a star-studded cast including Liam Neeson, James Franco, Adrien Brody, Kim Basinger, Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde and Italy's own Riccardo Scamarcio, known to international audiences for a cameo as a gentleman burglar in Woody Allen's To Rome With Love, was "also an act of love towards Italy".

American-born British director Terry Gilliam, best known for Brazil, 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, is another Ischia attendee, along with Batman and Tigerland helmer Joel Schumacher and Moulin Rouge and Great Gatsby maker Baz Luhrmann. This year's edition focuses on France as guest country of honour, opening with Roman Polanski's Venus in Fur, which was presented at the last Cannes Film Festival.

The events will kick off on Saturday with an evening in memory of filmmaker Luchino Visconti, best known for The Leopard (1963) and Death in Venice (1971), with Italian director Mimmo Calopresti taking part. There will also be advanced screenings of films such as Turbo, an animated film starring a snail that wants to win the Indy 500, presented by Samuel L. Jackson, who performs the voice for one of the main characters.

The festival will include two photography exhibitions. One is devoted to famed Italian press agent Enrico Lucherini, which will be introduced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter Giuseppe Tornatore.

Lucherini, who was advised by Sophia Loren to go into film promotion, is credited with moving the film industry's practice of publicity stunts up a notch with zany ideas such as inventing a romance between Italian actress Florina Bolkan and Richard Burton.

The exhibition is called As Long As They Talk About It, 50 Years of Film Promotion.

The other photo show is devoted to Domenico Modugno, the legendary singer and songwriter of 'Volare' fame.

It will be entitled Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu, a famous line from the legendary ditty.

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