Cannes

Valeria Golino debuts as director at Cannes

Italian actress takes 'Miele' to film festival

Valeria Golino debuts as director at Cannes

(By Denis Greenan) Cannes, April 17 - Italian actress Valeria Golino on Friday presented her directorial debut, 'Miele', at the Cannes Film Festival. Best known to English-speaking audiences for roles in Rain Man and the Hot Shots! films, Golino is representing Italy in the Un Certain Regard category, which runs parallel to the top-prize Palme d'Or competition and aims to promote rising talent. "This little film has brought me to Cannes, I love it (the film)," Golino told ANSA. "I'm very nervous and I can't quite enjoy this moment," she said on the famous red carpet. "I can't quite describe my state of mind, I'd like to be calmer, proud, but it's just the way I am. I'll be happy in a month's time," she said. The cast of 'Miele', which hit Italian screens last month, was beside her: acclaimed Italian actors Jasmine Trinca, Vinicio Marchioni and Carlo Cecchi. Golino's first feature will have its international premiere Friday night. "I'm also proud to be in the same festival with other Italians who are great friends and great artists," she added. Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino is in the running for the Palme d'Or with 'La Grande Bellezza' (The Great Beauty) . Golino, born to an Italian father and a Greek mother in Naples, broke onto Rome's film scene after she was discovered by Italian film icon Lina Wertmueller, who cast her in A Joke of Destiny (1983) when she was still in highschool. Three years later she won the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival for Storia d'Amore. 'Miele' is the story of a young Italian woman who devotes her life to alleviating the pain of others, "even when they make dramatic decisions," according to the film synopsis. The Cannes Film Festival started on Wednesday and runs till May 26. Sorrentino is seen as the leader of the Italian charge at the festival. La Grande Bellezza is his fifth bid for Cannes glory. Sorrentino, known for such previous Cannes selections as This Must Be The Place (2011) and 'Il Divo' (2008), is Italy's sole candidate in the official competition for the top-prize Palme d'Or. His latest is a portrait of today's Rome that follows Jep Gambardella, an aging culture and style journalist who recollects when he first arrived in the Eternal City at the age of 26 - just like Federico Fellini, whose La Dolce Vita and Satyricon are believed to have inspired the Cannes selection. Sorrentino's rich cast of characters range from society ladies, ingenues, politicians, white-collar criminals and journalists to actors, impoverished nobles, prelates, artists and intellectuals, both real and imagined. The cast includes Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli and Carlo Buccirosso, plus a cameo appearance by Angelina Jolie. Born in Naples, Sorrentino's other two Cannes films are The Consequences of Love (2004) and L'amico di Famiglia (The Family Friend, 2006) Italy is also represented in the shorts category, with Elena Bouryka's Meglio Se Stai Zitta (Better Stay Quiet), which is being screened out of competition. The short story by Bouryka, a Russian-born actress, takes place on the wedding day of a 30-year-old woman who endures an array of emotions - love, jealousy, and betrayal - from her friends of the same age. The jury at the festival will also feature an Italian, actress and producer Nicoletta Braschi who, in addition to starring in Johnny Stecchino (1992) and Oscar-winning La Vita e' Bella (Life is Beautiful, 1997) with Roberto Benigni, is also married to him. In 2012 the Italian film Reality, by Matteo Garrone, landed the second prize Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival for his film that starred prisoner-turned-film-star Aniello Arena as a Neapolitan fisherman dreaming to be on a TV reality show. In 2008 Garrone snagged the same prize for his adaptation of Roberto Saviano's Naples mafia expose' Gomorra.

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