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Bollywood’s Kabir Bebi returns to Ischia—the First Star to Arrive On the Island for the Global Film and Music Fest; Greeted by Academy President Carriero

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Lacco Ameno d’Ischia, Italy (12 luglio) --Kabir Bedi, the Bollywood star leading the return of Golden Age greats to the Ischia Global Film and Music Fest, said on his arrival Saturday that “to work in the new Indian cinema is fantastic. It is creative anarchy, not the bureaucracy of Hollywood.”

The international superstar talked about the Bollywood that has become one of the world’s great cinema factories with more than 800 films a year being produced. He is Bollywood’s most popular star in Italy because in the 1970s, early in his career, he played the character Sandokan in a wildly popular TV series that was produced in Italy.

He is the first of many stars to return to Ischia for this week’s festival on the Green Island off Naples. A major focus of the festival is the phenomenon of Bollywood. Many other on-camera and behind-the-camera leaders of the Bombay film community will attend.

Bedi said he soon will be in Sicily to star in an updated Sandokan film being co-produced with Gherardo Pagliei and The Luce Institute —“I hope the first of a long series. I will interpret myself, an actor loved in Italy and loved above all by the young Sicilian daughter of a boss. We have already made the inspections. Sicily is a fantastic place and to work with the Italians is optimal thing. We are very similar. You are creative and freer than the Americans, less rigid and more ready to launch an adventure.” He went on to criticize the Hollywood film community as a stifling entertainment industry where it takes years to launch a project—if it ever gets off the ground--unlike Bombay where the process is fast and relatively easy.

Bedi, in Ischia with his English wife Niki, said: “I did not expect much interest when I saw old television film of Sandoka But it does not seem as if much time has passed. The spirit has remained the same.”

Bedi also has played a villain opposite Roger Moore’s James Bond in Octopussy “even if for me Bond will always be “Sean” Connery. I have worked a lot in Los Angeles. The role of Sandokan has opened many doors for me. In Bombay, I have done theater and much television. In the future I hope to direct.”

When Bedi arrived by boat to the Regina Isabella Hotel, headquarters of the festival, he was greeted by a group of VIP hosts and journalists, including
Giancarlo Carriero, president of the Ischia International Arts Academy.

THE ACADEMY STARTED THE FINAL COUNT-DOWN. TOMORROW THE FIRST VIP'S ARRIVAL. ON SUNDAY THE ANGELO RIZZOLI AWARD PRESENTATION. ON MONDAY THE ISTITUTO LUCE CONGRESS

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JEAN CLAUDE VAN DAMME WILL ATTEND EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF HIS NEW ACTION FILM �HELL� at ISCHIA GLOBAL FEST - THURSDAY, JULY 17th

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Lacco Ameno d'Ischia (July 10) Action superstar Jean Claude Van Damme confirmed from Los Angeles that he will participate in the European premiere of his newest film, Hell, on Thursday, July 17 at the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest.
"It will be an unforgettable evening," said a delighted Giancarlo Carriero, president of the International Academy of Art of Ischia, co-producer of the festival being held July 13-18 on the Green Island off Naples. On the night of the premiere at the Regina Isabella Hotel & Spa, Van Damme will be awarded an Ischia Lifetime Achievement Award for his charismatic international career as actor and martial arts expert, said Pascal Vicedomini, the festival organizer.
�Jean Claude Van Damme is not only a most popular world-wide star, but a fascinating personage who we will be thrilled to coronate as the King of Lacco Ameno, said Carriero. �With this award we want to emphasize his sparkling career.
The star was born in Belgium in1960 as Jean-Claude Van Varenberg. He studied ballet for five years, and also is a classical music fan. As a teen he excelled in martial arts and became European middleweight champion of the European Professional Karata Association. He took his spectacular whirling kick skills to the cinema in 1984 and hit stardom four years later in �Bloodsport,� where he played the part of martial arts champion Frank Dux. His 30 films completed to date include two in the �Universal Soldier� series, �Lionheart,� �Double Impact� and two in the �Street Fighter� series. His thrilling skills have also enjoyed great popularity in several action hero video games.
As the festival opening nears this weekend, organizers and workers are working around the clock to complete a special 20-meters-high screen and other stage and presentation structures for the prestigious previews and international superstars who will attend.
Happening in happening the arrival of Van Damme to Lacco Ameno that
in these hours st� living a glad confusion for prepared to you
indispensable for the unofficial debut of saturdays the evening and
for the Grand Opening Gala of Sunday when Stefania Sandrelli is
rewarded with the Ischia Legend Award and the director Peter Greenaway
with the Angelo Rizzoli Audiovisual Award..

ISCHIA GLOBAL TO HONOR AMERICAN LEGEND DENNIS HOPPER OF 'EASY RIDER' FAME

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Lacco Ameno (July 8)  Dennis Hopper, a Hollywood living legend for roles from Easy Rider to Apocalypse Now, will be honored with an Ischia Legend Award during the Ischia Global Film & Music Festival July 13-18 on the island off Naples, Italy.

Hopper, considered one of America's top 100 film stars for a career spanning half a century, will accept his award July 16 at the Regina Isabella Hotel, the festival headquarters.

Hopper�s resume of 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 notoriety 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 the 1971, Hopper had the hit The Last Movie. It won 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. Hopper just finished The Keeper with Asia Argento.

ISCHIA NEWCOMER AWARDS TO THE SPANISH VANESSA INCONTRADA AND THE ITALIAN NERI MARCORE' FOR THE PUPI AVATI'S

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Lacco Ameno (July 7) - Vanessa Incontrada and Neri Marcorè have been selected to receive Ischia Newcomer Awards for the film Cuore Altrove. The honors will be presented Thursday, July 17 at the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest that runs July 13-18 on Ischia, the island off Naples.

The musical work of these two star pupils of Antonio Avati was also recognized at the Cannes Film Festival this spring. The two are some of the new talent of European cinema that will be celebrated at the festival.

The event is co-produced by the Luce Institute and the International Academy of Art of Ischia. Giancarlo Carriero, president of the Academy, lauded the �high moral values� promoted in the film and its music. Avati has had an extraordinary career as a producer.

At its opening ceremony July 13, the festival will bestow a Legend Prize on Stefania Sandrelli for her more than 40 years of success in film and on television.

A principal focus of the festival will be Bollywood, the rising cinema community in Bombay, India. Indian director Shekhar Kapur, Indian actor Kabir Bedi and numerous other Indian film leaders will attend. The Indian and Italian cinema industries recently signed a co-production agreement.

The Luce Institute will produce discussion programs on strategies for European co-productions and on new digital resources for the Italian film industry.

The festival also will include previews, galas, conventions and other prize awards. The event is in part intended to recapture the Ischia glory years of the 1950s through 1970s, when producer and publisher Angelo Rizzoli led film production on the island and many notables from the cinema and political worlds visited regularly. Some prizes are being awarded in honor of Rizzoli.

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