ROME - Alan Rickman, Richard Gere, and a trio of hot younger Hollywood stars will be feted by Italy's Giffoni Film Festival for children, the unique event where children from all over the world are jurors, now set to expand its horizons with planned construction of its long-gestating Giffoni Multimedia Valley.
Rickman, known to kids around the world for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, will be honoured with the Francois Truffaut lifetime achievement award at the cinematic holiday camp of sorts in the Southern Italian town where A-list stars engage with kids. Jessica Chastain (pictured) was among last year's Giffoni guests.
Lea Michele; and Dylan O'Brian, of "Teen Wolf."
They will hold onstage master classes with more than 3,500 jurors aged between 3 and 25 coming to Giffoni from 52 nations, including Azerbaijan and Lebanon (for the first time this year).
Giffoni's global jury will be picking winners from a lineup of more than 100 titles from 82 countries, with the Italo preem of Josh Boone's "The Fault in Our Stars" getting top billing. Other high-profile pics that will launch locally include Laurent Tirad's "Nicholas on Holiday," sequel to French hit "Little Nicolas," Disney's "Planes - Fire & Rescue," Lionsgate's "Step Up All In," with star Ryan Guzman in tow, and Japanese anime-auteur Hayao Miyazaki's historical epic "The Wind Rises."
A Marvel Marathon will include "Iron Man 3," "X-Men: Days of Future Past," "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and "The Avengers."
The Giffoni Experience, as the event is also know, is fueled by a vast Internet community - 81,000 Facebook fans, 33,000 Twitter followers, and "more social media engagement than any other fest in the world," boasts fest founder and artistic director Claudio Gubitosi. This year's theme driving conversations about screenings will be "Be Different," chosen via social media, of course.
Gubitosi said construction is now expected to start in September on his long-gestating Giffoni Multimedia Valley complex comprising a dedicated film museum and library, two 500-seat cinemas, an open-air arena, a 500-bed campus, and, very possibly, professional studio facilities for the year-round production of youth-oriented cinema and TV.