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Billy August, will receive the Ischia Humanitarian Award

Ischia, island of cinema and human rights: director Billy August, will receive the Ischia Humanitarian Award for his film “Goodbye Bafana”, dedicated to the legendary South African president Nelson Mandela, winner of the Nobel peace prize.
Enzo Cappello, special commissioner of the Tourist Board of the Islands of Ischia and Procida announced that the Danish director will receive the award during the fifth Ischia Global Film & Music Fest (July 13-20, 2008).
“In the year in which we are launching the 2nd Social Cinema Forum-Respecting Human rights” explains Cappello, “with extraordinary international artists like Paul Haggis, Bobby Moresco, Vanessa Redgrave, Terrene Howard on hand to discuss important social problems, we wanted to dedicate special attention to the theme of human rights by creating a special prize. It is an honour that the Tourist Board will assign every year to a great director in order to underline the welcoming nature of our land and of the Campania region in particular. The godmother of the prize will be Maria Grazia Cucinotta.”
Billy August, 59, two-time winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes and in1989 winner of both an Oscar and a Golden Globe in the best foreign film category for Pelle the Conqueror, achieved worldwide popularity with The House of the Spirits (1993). The film, based on Isabel Allende’s masterpiece, starred Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Wynona Rider, and Antonio Banderas. His films Smilla’s Sense of Snow and Les Misérables are also based on famous novels.
In 2006 August filmed Goodbye Bafana in South Africa. The film, which stars Joseph Fiennes, Dennis Haysbert, and Diane Kruger, tells the story of the touching relationship between Mandela, who spent 27 years in a special prison, and his prison guard, a white man with racist ideas. “Bafana” means “boy” in the Xhosa language. In preparation for the film, August met the wife of the prison guard, who died in 2003.
In addition to his numerous film awards, August has been made a member of the Order of the Royal Danish and Swedish Cavalry, as well as the French Knights of Arts and Letters.
“Great cinema and quality tourism are the winning ingredients for the island of Ischia,” added Enzo Cappello, as he explained the growing support of the Tourist Board (on account of the Regional Ministry for Tourism of the Campania Region) for the Festival organized by International Art Academy of Ischia with the support of the Ministry of Culture and prestigious sponsors like the Venice Casino, Fiuggi mineral water, and Kimbo coffee. “Since 1936 we have always been strongly tied to the world of cinema,” affirmed Cappello. “Since the golden years of Angelo Rizzoli and Luchino Visconti, the marvellous views of the island of Ischia have been a place of attraction for the jet set but also for the protagonists of over forty national and international film productions. This tie is becoming stronger thanks to the Ischia Global Fest, as shown by the long list of music and film stars, as well as great producers and key personalities from the world of culture who once again will arrive in Ischia from the world over in order to make our island even more global.”


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