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ISCHIA GLOBAL FEST WILL HONOR THE TALENTS OF SBRAGIA, LIONELLO AND ROSALINDA CELENTANO, STARS OF MEL GIBSON�S CONTROVERSIAL AND RECORD-SETTING THE PASSION OF CHRIST

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ROME (Italy) -- Major stars of Mel Gibson�s controversial film, �The Passion of The Christ,� which is a triumph at the Italian box office and in the USA, will be honored by the Ischia International Academy at the Global Film & Music Fest to be held July 11-16 on the island of Ischia in Italy.

Ischia International Academy of Art has announced that it will honor the three Italian stars of the film that has drawn world-wide attention and some charges of anti-Semitism: Mattia Sbragia for his intense interpretation of the high priest Ciaphus, Luca Lionello for his alarming portrayal of the traitorous disciple Judas, and above all, Rosalinda Celentano for her amazing transformation by Gibson into Satan.

Applauded as �pride of the Italian cinema,� the trio will receive special prizes for artistic merit on July 11 at the Regina Isabella Hotel as part of the weeklong Ischia Global Film & Music Fest. Giancarlo Carriero, president of the Academy, told a gathering at the Hotel de Russie in Rome that the honors are for �an extraordinary interpretation as part of a large international cast that enriches the Italian cinema and its interpreters with new prestige.�

This year�s Ischia festival will be dedicated to the cinema of China, following last year�s homage to the Bollywood film industry of India. A special prize already has been announced for Jack Valenti, the Italian-American who is retiring after 38 years as president of the Motion Picture Association of America and one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Mattia Sbragia has been in the arts scene for some 30 years in theater, cinema and television. He has worked with great Italian directors from Cervi and Bolognini to Avati. He has participated in international productions under directors like Frankenheimer (�The Year of the Gun�), Jewison (�Only You�) and Ivory (�The Golden Bowl�).

Rosalinda Celentano, 29, the stately daughter of the beautiful couple Adriano Celentano and Claudia Mori, always has been distinguished for the courage and the non-conformity of her artistic choices in creations from music (Sanremo 1990) to the cinema, where she made her debut with Pino Quartullo (�Le donne non vogliono pi��), then on to �The Good Pope� and now to the most difficult role of �The Passion of The Christ.� Her devil has made her face famous all over the world. She also is a painter. Some of her paintings appeared, along with her, in �The Sin Eater� (titled �The Order� in the USA), a 2003 film from Brian Helgeland starring Heath Ledger.

For Luca Lionello, son of Oreste Lionello and one of the best Italian dubbers (he has been the Italian language screen voice of Jude Law, Vincent Perez and Alan Cox), the role of Judas has been his occasion to rise from a long career in the film and television ranks to great public notice.
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ISCHIA 2003 AWARD WINNER F. MURRAY ABRAHAM WORKING ON NEW FILM WITH LEGENDARY SOPHIA LOREN AND FAMED DIRECTOR LINA WERTMULLER

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VAN DAMME OPENS HIS LATEST MOVIE, "IN HELL," IN ISCHIA, ITALY AND SAYS: HE WOULD SUPPORT SCHWARZENEGGER FOR GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

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2003 The Washington Post Company
Drudging Up Personal Details
By Lloyd Grove
Friday, July 18, 2003; Page C03

THIS JUST IN...
� Looks like possible California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger has already won the crucial Jean-Claude Van Damme Primary. "Arnold is a cool guy," the fading action star told reporters at the Ischia Film & Music Global Fest near Naples, Italy, yesterday. "He works out in the gym every day. He is very smart and intelligent. He's a pal of mine. I love him. I will vote for him. He's responsible, and that's important in politics." All the Belgian-born Van Damme has to do now is become an American citizen.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8158-2003Jul17.html

TENOR ANDREA BOCELLI VISITS ISCHIA GLOBAL FEST TO HONOR AMERICAN LEGEND DENNIS HOPPER; VARIETY ANNOUNCES HOPPER'S NEXT MOVIE,

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Lacco Ameno (Ischia, Italy) - Italian singer Andrea Bocelli presented Hollywood cinema star Dennis Hopper with the first Ischia Legend's Award in
ceremonies Wednesday night at the Ischia Film & Music Global Fest which
concludes Friday.

In honor of the rebellious actor and director, Bocelli sang "My Way," as Hopper held the silver plaque given to him by officials of the new Italian
film festival. A few minutes before, Bocelli himself was awarded a special honor in memory of Sir William Walton, an English composer who had a
residence in Ischia.

At an afternoon press conference, Hopper announced the start of a new film project, Gangster, which he will direct in Romania in October and is based on a script that was handed to him by a total stranger as he was shooting
another film in Bucharest.

Hopper, 67, in Italy to accept an achievement award at the Ischia Film & Global Fest, told a news conference that an American man approached him and asked him to read a script that he had written.

At first he said he declined at to accept the script but the stranger insisted so he took it on the airplane with the idea that he could read it then. At it turned out he did not read the script for weeks, but put it on a table at his house. He said it bothered him everytime he walked passed
the script so finally started reading it "and I couldn't stop."

Hopper said the story line is about two young Romanian kids who watch American gangster films such as Scarface and aspire to go to America and be part of the mob. One of the characters does make it to America and makes
his fortune as a bad guy like he saw in the films, while the other stays in Romania.

After the fall of the Communist regime in the late-1980s, the Romanian who immigrates to the United States returns and meets his own friend who is now a taxi driver.

The budget for the film is about $10-$12 million and is being produced by Philippe Martinez, who also accompanied Hopper to the news conference. The entire film will be shot in Romania.

Hopper said one of the actors under consideration to play a major role is Alec Baldwin but he stressed that the actual casting will begin in a month or so.

"The movie script starts in 1983 and then jumps to 2000," said Hopper, who smoked a cigar as he spoke to reporters.

"I think the story is actually about the influence that American films have on young people around the world. Here are two kids who smuggled
American mobster films and passed them around to friends. And they want to emulate what they are seeing. I don't see them as bad guys but they like to imitate the bad-ass cowboys who they see in American movies."

Asked if he likes to shoot films made in Europe, Hopper replied that the venue doesn't really matter to him "as long as I can make movies. But it has been easier to get work in Europe than it has been in my own country."

Hopper, a luminary for roles from Easy Rider to Apocalypse Now, is being honored with an Ischia Legend Award at flm festival in Italy, which runs
through Friday.

Hopper's resume of more than 145 films as an actor and seven as a director began while he was an adolescent with work in the '50s television series "Medic." He first hit the silver screen in a James Dean film Rebel Without A Cause. He also worked with Dean in Giant, but real fame came with Easy Rider in 1969, where he directed Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson after friends raised $400,000 to make the film he wrote with Fonda based on a Terry Southern novel. The alternative film was perfect for its times and
became a huge success, winning two Oscar nominations.

In 1971, Hopper had the hit The Last Movie. It was a nomination at the Venice Film Festival. Other Hopper successes included Francis Ford
Coppolla's Apocalypse Now in 1979, David Lynch's Blue Velvet in 1986, and his direction of Colors in 1988 with Sean Penn and Robert Duvall.

The odyssey of Hopper been one of Hollywood's longest, strangest trips. A onetime teen performer, he went through a series of career metamorphoses -- studio pariah, rebel filmmaker, and comeback kid -- before finally settling comfortably into the role of character actor par excellence, with a rogues' gallery of killers and freaks unmatched in psychotic intensity and demented glee. Along the way, Hopper defined a generation, documenting the shining hopes and bitter disappointments of the hippie ounterculture and bringing their message to movie screens everywhere.

##
VARIETY
Hopper down for 'Gangster' pic
Thesp enjoys making European fare for the bigscreen

By SHERI JENNINGS

LACCOS AMENO (Ischia, Italy) -- Dennis Hopper announced a new film project, "Gangster," at a press conference Wednesday on the Italian island of Ischia.
Pic is set to begin shooting in October and will span the years previous to the fall of the communist regime in 1989 until today.
Hopper is on the island for the world preem of his pic, "'The Piano Player," and to accept the Ischia Legend Award at the Ischia Global Film and Music Festival, which runs through Friday.
He is en route with producer Philippe Martinez to Romania where they will begin pre-production.
Hopper says he decided to sponsor the project after reading a script an American expat handed him while he was on location in Bucharest filming "Out of Season," also with Martinez. Hopper had never seen the man before.
Pic concerns two Romanian boys who aspire to go to the U.S. after seeing bootleg films of "Easy Rider" and "Scarface." One eventually makes it Stateside and the other stays in Romania. The two unite after the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
Casting, according to Martinez will begin next month.
His production shingle Lucky UK Film Services will finance the $10million - $12 million project.
Hopper told journalists that his relationship with Hollywood has been "love-hate" over the years. "I met Martinez, he has financing and can greenlight projects. It doesn't matter where I make movies as long as I know I can make them."
He added that, in the U.S., "studios control the projects and the distribution. A lot of time the picture just goes onto (video) tape or DVD. It's more interesting to make films in Europe and actually get them on the screen."

Lacco Ameno (Ischia, Italy) - Italian singer Andrea Bocelli presented
Hollywood cinema star Dennis Hopper with the first Ischia Legend's Award in
ceremonies Wednesday night at the Ischia Film & Music Global Fest which
concludes Friday.

In honor of the rebellious actor and director, Bocelli sang "My Way," as
Hopper held the silver plaque given to him by officials of the new Italian
film festival. A few minutes before, Bocelli himself was awarded a special
honor in memory of Sir William Walton, an English composer who had a
residence in Ischia.


At an afternoon press conference, Hopper announced the start of a new film
project, Gangster, which he will direct in Romania in October and is based
on a script that was handed to him by a total stranger as he was shooting
another film in Bucharest.

Hopper, 67, in Italy to accept an achievement award at the Ischia Film &
Global Fest, told a news conference that an American man approached him and
asked him to read a script that he had written.

At first he said he declined at to accept the script but the stranger
insisted so he took it on the airplane with the idea that he could read it
then. At it turned out he did not read the script for weeks, but put it on
a table at his house. He said it bothered him everytime he walked passed
the script so finally started reading it "and I couldn't stop."

Hopper said the story line is about two young Romanian kids who watch
American gangster films such as Scarface and aspire to go to America and be
part of the mob. One of the characters does make it to America and makes
his fortune as a bad guy like he saw in the films, while the other stays in
Romania.

After the fall of the Communist regime in the late-1980s, the Romanian who
immigrates to the United States returns and meets his own friend who is now
a taxi driver.

The budget for the film is about $10-$12 million and is being produced by
Philippe Martinez, who also accompanied Hopper to the news conference. The
entire film will be shot in Romania.

Hopper said one of the actors under consideration to play a major role is
Alex Baldwin but he stressed that the actual casting will begin in a month
or so.

"The movie script starts in 1983 and then jumps to 2000," said Hopper, who
smoked a cigar as he spoke to reporters.

"I think the story is actually about the influence that American films
have on young people around the world. Here are two kids who smuggled
American mobster films and passed them around to friends. And they want to
emulate what they are seeing. I don't see them as bad guys but they like
to imitate the bad-ass cowboys who they see in American movies."

Asked if he likes to shoot films made in Europe, Hopper replied that the
venue doesn't really matter to him "as long as I can make movies. But it
has been easier to get work in Europe than it has been in my own country."


Hopper, a luminary for roles from Easy Rider to Apocalypse Now, is being
honored with an Ischia Legend Award at flm festival in Italy, which runs
through Friday.

Hopper's resume of more than 145 films as an actor and seven as a director
began while he was an adolescent with work in the '50s television series
"Medic." He first hit the silver screen in a James Dean film Rebel Without
A Cause. He also worked with Dean in Giant, but real fame came with Easy
Rider in 1969, where he directed Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson after
friends raised $400,000 to make the film he wrote with Fonda based on a
Terry Southern novel. The alternative film was perfect for its times and
became a huge success, winning two Oscar nominations.

In 1971, Hopper had the hit The Last Movie. It was a nomination at the
Venice Film Festival. Other Hopper successes included Francis Ford
Coppolla's Apocalypse Now in 1979, David Lynch's Blue Velvet in 1986, and
his direction of Colors in 1988 with Sean Penn and Robert Duvall.


The odyssey of Hopper been one of Hollywood's longest, strangest trips. A
onetime teen performer, he went through a series of career metamorphoses --
studio pariah, rebel filmmaker, and comeback kid -- before finally settling
comfortably into the role of character actor par excellence, with a rogues'
gallery of killers and freaks unmatched in psychotic intensity and demented
glee. Along the way, Hopper defined a generation, documenting the shining
hopes and bitter disappointments of the hippie counterculture and bringing
their message to movie screens everywhere.

http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=upsell_article&articleID=VR1117889481&categoryID=19&cs=1

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER ACTOR F.MURRAY ABRAHAM MAY TEAM WITH SOPHIA LOREN AND DIRECTOR LINA WERTMULLER

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Lacco Ameno d�Ischia (July 15) -American actor F. Murray Abraham, 64, says he
has been contacted by an intermediary to do a film project with Italian
movie great Sophia Loren and Italian producer Lina Wertmuller.

He said told a news conference at the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest that
discussions are "just beginning" but if it is to be done the location
would be somewhere in Italy,

In a reply to a reporter's question about how he views working with such as
famous icon as Ms. Loren, Abraham tipped his hat and replied: "As far as
I'm concerned Sophia Loren is okay with me."

Asked if he would consider it to be such an honor to work with Ms. Loren
and the director of the legendary film "Swept Away," that he would perform
for free, Abraham--known for his comic wit-- laughed, "No, no, I'm a new
grandfather and I need the money!"

He said that to his knowledge there is no script but "you don't question
the script when you are about to working with somebody like Ms. Loren."

With 70 film roles to his credit in America, Italy, England and other
countries, Abraham is being honored with a special International Arts
Academy Award in ceremonies on the Green Island near Naples. Abraham is of
Italian/Syrian heritage.

Abraham, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and the son of an automobile
mechanic, has shown to be one of the great talents of contemporary cinema
and stage, playing important roles such as King Lear and Othello. His most
famous role is that of Antonio Salieri in the 1984 film "Amadeus" relating
the composer's competitive rivalry with Mozart.

Recently, he appeared in a new film, "The Bridge of San Luis Rey."
For the last three months, Abraham said he has been working on a stage
production of "The Jewel of Malta" in New York City.

Abraham, in response to his views on film making, said he would like to
"see some of the directors in America be put on a very strict budget. Give
them $1 million dollars each instead of $100 million dollars to one. Give
them one month to shoot. You may get new directors, new actors and maybe
one good movie."

"The world now is more interesting than the movies and this should not be,
"he lamented, saying that art should instead be the leader in the venue of
creativity..

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