Iconic French actress Catherine Deneuve will receive the Taormina Film Festival’s Arte Award during the 55th edition of the Sicilian festival.

She will join fellow French actress Dominique Sanda, who will also receive the Arte Award. The decision to honour both actresses reinforces the festival’s French focus this year, which will culminate in a French Grand Gala on June 19. Deneuve will present the new film by Andre Techine La Fille Du RER, which will be in competition at the festival.

The festival will also host an Emirates Gala, which will take place on June 17, and will feature a programme of shorts out together by  Middle East International Film Festival director Peter Scarlet.

The event will be held in Bagheria (Palermo), one of Taormina’s four “satellite” venues that have been introduced this year to spread the festival across Sicily.

The evening’s guest of honor in attendance will be deputy chairman of the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority, Zaki Anwar Nusaibeh.

The full line up the festival, which runs June 13-20, is yet to be announced.