Brie Larson, Bo Derek, Katie Holmes Among Hollywood Stars Headed to Filming Italy Sardegna

Brie Larson, Katie Holmes, Bo Derek, Harvey Keitel, Kate Beckinsale, John David Washington, Matt Bomer, and Colman Domingo are among the robust contingent of Hollywood stars set to disembark on the island of Sardinia for the upcoming seventh edition of the Filming Italy Sardegna Festival.

The event, which kicks off Italy’s summer moviegoing season and combines film and TV, unspools June 20-23 in the Forte Village resort near Cagliari, capital of Sardegna (Sardinia in English). This year, the festival has upped its game making “a major effort to attract talents,” notes Tiziana Rocca, the marketing guru and former Taormina Film Festival chief who launched the Sardinia event seven years ago.

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More than 70 international and italian titles comprising feature films, TV series, docs and shorts in a wide range of genres will be screening at the fest. Local premiers include Netflix’s Japanese anime film “The Imaginary” which will drop on the streaming giant July 5; crime thriller “Cult Killer” with Antonio Banderas, who is not making the trek; Michael Mohan’s horror movie “Immaculate” starring Sydney Sweeney a virginal nun becomes pregnant at an Italian monastery, also without talent in tow; Dolph Lundgren-directed action thriller “Wanted Man” for which Lundgren will be on hand; and Katie Holmes’ mental illness drama “Rare Objects,” which marks her third feature.

“I want this to be a mainstream festival with something for all types of audiences,” says Rocca.

Also launching into Italy from Sardinia will be French director Guillaume Canet’s eco-thriller “Acid” in which a father and daughter attempt to outrun acid raid; Jeff Nichol’s critically acclaimed crime period piece “The Bikeriders,” and Italian comedy “Amici per caso,” directed by Max Nardari, the tale of two Italian young men, one of whom is gay, the other homophobic, who learn to like each other during forced co-habitation. The title translates roughly as “Friends by Chance.”

The roster of talents recruited to hold master classes includes Holmes; Larson; Derek; Bomer; Washington; Patricia Arquette; Nell Tiger Free (“The First Omen”); Paz Vega and Rosario Dawson, alongside Italian A-listers Salvatore Esposito (“Gomorrah”); Silvio Orlando (“The Young Pope”); and Ambra Angiolini (“The Ignorant Angels”).

Besides being a local industry booster, Filming Italy Sardegna also serves as a campus of sorts for more than 2,000 Italian film students from more than 20 film schools who will be attending screenings and masterclasses and reaping benefits from the informal contact with stars and industry execs.

This year’s edition of Filming Italy Sardegna is dedicated to late great Sandra Milo, the star of Federico Fellini’s “8½” and “Juliet of the Spirits,” who died in January at 90. Milo will be celebrated with a screening of “Juliet of the Spirits” in a copy freshly restored by Italy’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia archives.


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