Wednesday, 10 June 2020

As the Lockdown lifts, Ischia confirms festival for this summer



Cannes film festival may have been canceled, except for virtual presentations for jury members, but the western Mediterranean’s next most important meeting of cinema, art, and fashion will be happening this year.

Ischia Global Film Festival, which has honored such legendary designers as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Carolina Herrera, and Tommy Hilfiger in recent years, has announced that it will take place on the island in the Bay of Naples.

Renamed as Ischia Smart 2020, the event will be held from July 12 to 19 on the verdant island. A noted networking event, where key films are projected on a sea-cliff, Ischia is the sister event of Capri Hollywood that takes place each New Year.

In September, Italy’s largest film fest, the Venice Film Festival is also planning a post-pandemic season, as travel restrictions steadily lift for visitors to the peninsula. Starting today Italy will permit travelers from the 25 other members of the Schengen visa-free travel area, which covers most of the European Union, to enter the country with no restrictions.

Ischia Smart 2020 can count on the presence of former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs; Italian/Canadian producer Andrea Iervolino and Carolina Rosi, as president of the upcoming 18th edition. Rosi is the daughter of late great Italian director Francesco Rosi. Her documentary about her father Citizen Rosi screened at Venice last year. Italian singer/songwriter and music producer Tony Renis - who penned the iconic hit Quando, Quando, Quando - will serve as honorary chairman.

Ischia plans to honor Roman brothers Fabio and Damiano D’Innocenzo, who won the Silver Bear in Berlin with Bad Tales earlier this year.

The new name reflects “the immediate needs of Italy's film and audiovisual industry, which is going through such a difficult time, along with the Campania region where the Isle of Ischia is located…We owe it to an island that over a period of 18 years has become a significant reference point for international show business, and we wish to convey to the world the image of a typical Italian summer in a safe region,” said founder and Italian media maestro Pascal Vicedomini, who noted that with flights from New York to Rome film producers who were unable to show their latest movies at preceding festivals now have a window of opportunity at Ischia.

He added that digital link-ups connect to talent with films at Ischia unable to make the trek. “It will be a mixed formula,” stressed Vicedomini. 

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