The Taormina Film Fest is an international film festival that takes place in Taormina from July 6th to 9th. It is at its 63rd edition. It was born in Messina in 1955, and in 1957 it became the Rassegna cinematografica internazionale di Messina e Taormina and the Cariddi d’Argento were established. From 1957 to 1980 it hosted the David di Donatello Award. In 1970 the festival split in two and the Festival internazionale del cinema di Taormina was created, in parallel with the Gran premio delle nazioni, which that year was assigned to Sydney Pollack. Since 1971 the festival has taken place exclusively in Taormina in the ancient Greek theater. Over the years it has welcomed many international movie stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Sophia Loren, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Tom Cruise, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. From 1981, the first three films were awarded gold, silver and bronze Cariddi, and Maschere di Polifemo (gold, silver, and bronze) to the best interpretations. In 1984 Silver Ribbons awarded to the union of movie journalists were introduced. The festival changed name over the years, though maintaining its progressive numbering: Taormina FilmFest (from 1983, as part of Taormina Arte), BNL Taormina film fest (from 2002), to today’s Taormina film fest. In 1997 the director of the festival was Enrico Ghezzi and it was held in the convention building in Taormina under the name XXVII Festival internazionale del cinema di Taormina. Enrico Ghezzi’s direction had given the festival a cinephile cut, renaming it TaoFest. Inserted in the Taoarte, from 1999 to 2006 it was directed by Felice Laudadidio, who endeavored to bring big names of international cinema to the Sicilian venue. In 2004 its 50th anniversary was held.
Today’s festival presents many international previews, a series of Movie Lessons with famous film makers, and retrospectives. The important premieres take place in the ancient Greek Theater.
Taormina Arte Award (previously Cariddi d’oro)
Premio Cariddi Taormina FilmFest
Premio Kineo Taormina FilmFest (special prize)