Seven titles will compete for the festival’s top prize, the Golden Tauro, whilst highlights will include a masterclass with Robert De Niro and a series of World Cup themed parties.

The 56th edition of the Taormina Film Fest, which runs from 12-18 June near Sicily’s Mt Etna under the artistic direction of Deborah Young, announced its line up in Rome today.

The festival kicks off with the European premiere of Pixar’s Toy Story 3 3D in Taormina’s Greek-Roman Amphitheatre, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and marks the first time a 3D film will screened open air and in an ancient location.

Three thousand locals will be given 3D eyewear from Cinemeccanica Digital Division – Barco for the event.

The site will be used nightly to screen films in the section Grande Cinema Al Teatro Antico – Taormina’s gala showcase.

Other gala screeners include Gareth Edward’s Monsters in its international premiere, Neil LaBute’s Death at the Funeral, with the director in tow; the World Premier of Italian title The Trick In The Sheet (L’imbroglio Nel Lenzuolo) with Maria Grazia Cuccinotta, by Alfonso Arau and Jonathan Lynn’s Wild Target, among others.

This year, Taormina has scheduled some high-profile directors to teach master classes including Robert De Niro, Marco Bellocchio, Emir Kusturica and Dario Argento.

In competition, seven titles will vie for Taormina’s top prize, the Golden Tauro, in the festival’s Mediterranean section.

Four prizes - best film, best direction, best male or female acting performance and a special jury prize - will be voted on by an international jury made up of Berlin Fest director Dieter Kosslick, Spanish director Isabel Coixet, Brazilian actress Alice Braga, Egyptian critic Samir Farid and Italian actor with Sicilian roots Enrico Lo Verso.

The titles are:

From The Waist On, by Gianfrancesco Lazotti hails from Italy and is in its world premier.

18 Meals by Jorge Coira with Luis Tosar from Spain is in its world premier.

Chicas by Yasmina Reza hails from France, stars Emmanuelle Seigner, in its international premier.

Just the Three Of Us, from France’s Renaud Betrand, with Emmanuelle Beart and Stefano Accorsi.

Messages From The Sea (Rasayel El Bahr) by Egypt’s Daoud Abdel Sayed from in its International Premier.

Two-Way Switch (Vavien) directed by Yagmur and Durul Taylan hails from Turkey and is in its International premier.

Some Other Stories (Neke Druge Price)by Ivona Juka from the Balkan states of Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Slovenia in its International premier.

Taormina has an additional competitive section – Beyond The Mediterranean, which will be awarding a popular prize.

Taormina will be giving its Taormina Arte Award in absentia to Iranian filmmaker Jafir Panahi who was detained by the government in his native Iran and released on May 25. Kosslick will present the award, which will be picked up by Iranian actress Fatemeh Motemad-Aria.

Brazilian and Spanish cinema will be the subject of two separate film focuses for this edition. And throughout the festival, Taormina will be celebrating the World Cup matches with parties and screenings of football-related films including Panahi’s Offside and Kusturica’sMaradona.

From South Africa, host country to this year’s World Cup games, the nation’s best known stand up comic Barry Hilton will be on hand with the football themed comedy Finding Lenny, to be screened in the Teatro Greco.