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Emily is blogging from San Sebastian-Donostia and Cannes 


The Drake International Film Festival, 2007

The conference on the new Drake International Film Festival at the Italian pavilion started, as all real Italian conferences should, about forty-five minutes late. That’s not to say, however, that the press members in attendance were not entertained. On the contrary, representatives from the festival, including the president, Francesco De Lorenzo himself, sat around the small pavilion area with the attendees, answering questions about the brochures covered in beautiful pictures of the Veneto region and Caserta, where the festival will take place in late June.

When the conference finally began, the monolingual De Lorenzo, aided by a translator, welcomed the press. “I can assure you that our first edition will be a blast,” the translator said, standing next to a beaming De Lorenzo. He then announced that next week, the final lineup of twelve world premieres, six in competition, would be finalized and announced. Both Richard Taylor (famed for his special effects work in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Productions in New York City are going to be honored for “making a difference in independent and digital cinema.” Considering the fact that Mr. Kaufman is well-known for his disdain of festivals that are not accepting enough of “real” independent cinema, it is fair to say that even though the Drake festival does not plan on showing short films in competition, it is making its way into the world as a festival for the independent cinema. In closing, De Lorenzo explained the significance of the name of the festival, “Drake,” as in “mandrake,” to represent the “cinema mitico,” a mythical cinema. He then welcomed the assembled press to, “have a taste of our mozzarellas, which you already have…, that’s just a taste of how good our festival is going to be.”

The first Drake International Film Festival will take place at the Royal Palace “Vanvitelliana” of Caserta, from the 23rd to the 30th of June, 2007. More information on the festival is available at, or by contacting

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