For its upcoming 26th edition, the Capri Hollywood Intl. Film Festival, dedicated to launching Oscars hopes and establishing a creative and commercial bridgehead between Hollywood and the Italian film and showbiz communities, thwarts the Omicron variant by expanding its venues beyond “l ‘blue island’ off Naples.

For health security reasons, the picturesque small town of Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples, will become the main hub where guests, most of whom this year will come from Europe for December 26-January. 2 shindig, will come together.

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Expected international attendees include directors Michael Radford and Terry Gilliam, who are festival regulars, coming from the UK Also from the Blighty, actor Sadie Frost making the trip to promote the UK director’s debut COVID-19 feature Kirsty Bell’s “A bird flew in,” having its international premiere. Bell will receive the festival’s European Breakout Director of the Year award.

Italian premieres include the apocalyptic Christmas film “Silent Night”, starring Keira Knightley; the western “The Last Son” by Tim Sutton, starring Heather Graham and Sam Worthington; and New York-based Turkish director Mustafa Ozgun’s drama “COVID19 – Ground Zero”, produced by Donald Kushner.

Also expected are “Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick, model and actor Mădălina Ghenea (“House of Gucci”), director Bille August and, from the United States, Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis.

Elizabeth Hurley, winner of Capri Person of the Year, won’t be there, but organizers say Richard Dreyfuss was honored on December 13 in Rome with the festival’s Capri Legend Award.

“This year, we are sailing in the [COVID] crisis while broadening our horizons, ”said Pascal Vicedomini, founder and chef of the Capri Hollywood fest. He is proud that this year’s closing ceremony is taking place at the 18th-century Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the oldest opera house in Europe. It will host performances by Israeli singer and human rights activist Noa and Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo.

Vicedomini is also pleased that several Netflix titles, including “The Power of the Dog” by Jane Campion and “The Hand of God” by Paolo Sorrentino, who is the Italian international Oscar contender, will be screened as part of their campaign. rewards.

The closing gala will see Neapolitan actor Toni Servillo, who stars in “Hand of God” – and also has lead roles in two other recently released photos from Venice, Mario Martone’s “King of Laughter” and “The Inner Cage” by Leonardo Di Costanzo – celebrated with a career award. A tribute will also be paid to the late great writer-director Lina Wertmüller, with whom Capri Hollywood had a long-standing relationship.

“Lina was the first person to put her trust in me, believing from the start in my vision of Capri Hollywood; she became my lucky charm, ”said Vicedomini, who was instrumental in setting it in motion – with the help of stars such as Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave and Sophia Loren – for the concerted effort that led to Wertmüller’s Honorary Oscar in 2019 and the next star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The informal shindig, which attracts industry heavyweights and stars from Hollywood and Europe – and is followed by a movie showcase in Los Angeles, Italy, April 18-24 – helps foster collaborations between the Italian and American film communities.

Steven Zaillian, who came to Capri in 2019 to be honored as screenwriter of Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”, is filming his television series “Ripley”, based on the Patricia Highsmith novels, for Showtime in Italy. Cameras shot in Capri, Sorrento and Naples, among others.

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