Los Angeles, the “City of the Angels”, hosts the first edition of the Taormina Film Festival (TTF) on Jan. 20 and 21, featuring Italian and Sicilian independent films. This event was made possible by an agreement between the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles, the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Trade Commission (ICE). The screenings are hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute and attended by the authors of two docu-films, “L’ultimo metro di pellicola” (“The Last Metre of Film”) by Elio Sofia, and “Il carnevale eoliano” (“Aeolian Carnival”) by Francesco Cannava’. The documentary “Phil Stern. Sicilia 1943, la guerra e l’anima” (Philip Stern: Sicily in 1943, War and Soul”) written and directed by Ezio Costanzo with Filippo Arlotta, will also be screened.

Valeria Golino at Cannes 2015 (photo by Georges Biard)

Valeria Golino at Cannes 2015 (photo by Georges Biard)

“Phil Stern. Welcome back to Sicily “, a photo exhibition by Carmelo Nicosia will also be hosted by the Institute as a tribute to the famous American photographer, who died last year in Los Angeles at 95. The opening will coincide with the festival, and will be attended by Stern’s son Peter and his granddaughter Ashley. City councillor Joe Boscaino will attend the opening of the exhibiton and the screening of the documentary. He will present Peter Stern with a City of Los Angeles Award for the project “Phil Stern”, and Tiziana Rocca with , for the first TaorminaFilmFest Los Angeles.

Cecilia Peck, daughter of the unforgettable actor Gregory Peck, will present her docu-film “Brave Miss World” on the trauma of sexual violence, and host a party at her house in honour of the first TTF edition. The TaorminaFilmFest Los Angeles Award will be presented to Steven Gaydos, Executive Editor of Variety and actress Valeria Golino, who appeared in “Per amor vostro” (“For Your Love”) by Giuseppe Gaudino. The film will also be screened. Ms. Golino will be interviewed by Mr. Gaydos and Lorenzo Soria, the President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which every year organises the prestigious Golden Globes Awards.

As an aside note, recent news report indicate that Ms. Golino’s name “turned up on the most recent list of Americans who’ve given up their passports,” and her British agent is quotes as saying she “is going home for good.”