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Aruba festival to bookend with Hachiko, Cyrus

Guests added to participate in on-stage conversations include Thelma Schoonmaker, Guillermo Arriaga, andPatricia Clarkson.

The inaugural Aruba International Film Festival will showcase 28 films from 18 countries, including Richard Gere-starrer Hachiko and the Duplass Brothers’ Cyrus as opening and closing night films.

Guests expected to participate in on-stage conversations include Thelma Schoonmaker, Guillermo Arriaga, Patricia Clarkson, Griffin Dunne and choreographer Longiness Fernandes, adding to the previously announced Gere and Bernardo Bertolucci.

AIFF Artistic Director Claudio Masenza unveiled the lineup with Festival founders Giuseppe Ciocarrelli and Jonathan Vieira.

International premieres will include Ivo van Hove’s Dutch drama Amsterdam; Francesca Archibugi’s Italian dark comedy Questione di Cuore, Christopher Smith’s Black Death from the UK, and family film Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.

Other selections include Diego Luna’s Abel, Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots, Ruba Nadda’s Cairo Time, and Gabriele Salvatores’ Happy Family.

Masenza said: “The first year of a festival is a double test: the director is testing the reactions of his audience, knowing that the audience is testing him. I believe that this program presents elements to please and interest everybody, balancing amusement with more engaging stories. I chose films coming from almost all of the Latin nations because the Aruba culture is very close to theirs. I also chose several American movies, mainly independent, and included a special ‘window’ on Italy, my home country, that could give an idea of the contemporary industry there.”

The festival runs June 4-11 in the Caribbean island.

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