Oscar nominees Ari Folman and Laurent Cantet have joined the international jury of the Taormina Film Fest. The announcement came along with other initiatives aimed at celebrating the festival's 55th anniversary.

France will be this year's 'guest of Honour,' as part of Taormina's focus on Mediterranean cinema. For the event, eight recent French films will be
screened throughout the festival and actress Dominique Sanda, who has
worked with Bernardo Bertolucci and Vittorio De Sica, will receive the
Taormina Arte Award on June 19th at the Fest's Gran Gala France event.

Also new for the anniversary edition,all of Sicily will be able to
celebrate the Fest from the island's major cities. Specifically,
Palermo, Siracuse and Agrigento will host outdoor screenings of
selected competition films and other special shows and programs.

In her third year as artistic director, Deborah Young says, 'By reaching
out to the whole of Sicily, we are re-launching Taormina as a totally
unique event ' To re-vamp the event, Young secured the indispensable
support of Sicily's regional government as well as mayors of the major
cities and its tourism board.

Taormina's line up, which is still to be announced, will include the
following competitive sections: Mediterranea, Beyond the Mediterranean
and Sicilian Short Films. The Fest also promotes student works via the
Campus Taormina and has created an industry space called Spazio
Taormina for buyers, distributors and producers.

The Taormina Film Fest will run June 13-20.