DEADLINE – Italian artist Marco Perego’s debut feature The Absence of Eden has set a picturesque world premiere at the upcoming edition of Italy’s 69th Taormina Film Festival, running from June 23 to July 1.
The festival will unveil the film in a screening at its landmark Ancient Greek amphitheatre with co-stars Zoe Saldaña, Garrett Hedlund and Adria Arjona in attendance.
Hedlund plays an ICE Agent struggling with the moral dilemmas of his job who unites with an undocumented woman fighting to escape a ruthless cartel, played by Guardians of the Galaxy star and Perego’s wife Saldaña, to save the life of an innocent girl.
Perego, who co-wrote the original screenplay with Rick Rapoza, previously produced the short film Me + Her and also directed the short film Burn To Shine, alongside his career as an artist.
“I am so excited to be screening The Absence of Eden in the Teatro Antico,” said Barrett Wissman, who is pulling together his inaugural edition of the festival in his new role of Executive and Co-Artistic Director.
“Marco Perego’s direction is a work of beauty and the performances by the trio of actors Zoe Saldaña, Garrett Hedlund and Adria Arjona are without exception wonderful.”
The film is produced by Academy Award-nominated producer Julie Yorn and Perego, along with Robert Kravis and Karl Herrmann under their banner of Pioneer Pictures, and Academy Award-nominated producer Alexandra Milchan.
Academy Award-winning director and producer Martin Scorsese, and Rick Yorn serve as executive producers, alongside Zoe Saldaña’s Cinestar Pictures, Ingenious Media, Ashland Hill, and Sycuan Tribal.
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Other highlights of this year’s edition of Taormina include the Italian premiere of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny; the world premiere of Conor Allyn’s In The Fire, starring Amber Heard, Eduardo Noriega, and Lorenzo McGovern Zaini, and a gala evening entitled “The Influential Shorts” curated by actress and influencer Bella Thorne.