Federico Mollicone (President of the Chamber Culture Commission), Beatrice Venezi (Artistic Director of the Taormina Arte Foundation), Ester Bonafede (oversees the Taormina Arte Sicilia Foundation, Barrett Wissman (Executive and Artistic Director of the Taormina Film Fest), Gianmarco Mazzi (Undersecretary of the Minister of Culture )
We could call him the “King Midas” of festivals. Barrett Wissman , one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists in the classical music and film festival landscape. Manager and owner of IMG Artists , one of the largest artist management agencies, a global leader in performing arts talent management. Under his leadership the Company has expanded its presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia and represents 500 artists and has founded and managed festivals around the world. Having moved to Rome from Montana, he immediately conceived and directed the project HOUSE OF ARTS: and prestigious circuit of cultural events , focus on classical music, which will involve urban and extra-urban patrician residences in the capital. In March 2023 Wissman was appointed executive and artistic director of the “Taormina Film Festival” , one of the most prestigious film festivals in Europe and in Italy which attracts directors, actors and cinephiles from all over the world. This Festival, conceived in the splendid setting of Taormina, boasts a great cinematographic history and has hosted, over the years, previews of masterpieces such as “La dolce vita”, “The Godfather”, “Mission Impossible”.
Affaritaliani interviewed him to find out about projects and events, a few days before the inauguration (to be held from 24 June to 1 June) of the “Taormina Film Fest”.
Yes it is trtransferred to Rome with his family and after four weeks, he finalized the “Domus Artium” project. Now, just weeks away from the appointment as co-artistic director and executive director of the Taormina Arte Sicilia Foundation, he managed to involve the major global talents and influencers for the Taormina Film Festival. How does he manage to realize his plans so quickly?
The secret of success of every artistic director is the relationship with the artists and
talents and the trust that is built over many years of collaborations, festivals,
tours and projects. This is critical and lays the foundation for the ability to
create these programs .
How did you choose the most “social” artists who will present their works on the stage of the Ancient Theater?
Today, social media is critical to success. It’s the modern way of
to communicate. I have invited many artists, young and old, to Bella Thorne
of Willem Dafoe of John Landis. Some are natives of social media, some are not.
It’s about finding the right balance and the right mix of talents.
Bella Thorne is one of the most famous actresses and singers in the States in
which dress will attend the Taormina festival?
Bella comes as a debutant actress and director. She will present her short on the 27th
June and will also take care of the evening. As an actress she appears in Divinity, which will premiere on June 29 at the Teatro Antico.
You are an avid entrepreneur and former president of IMG Artists,
world leader in the artistic and cultural entertainment sector.
Is it more difficult to work in Italy in the field of culture and the arts?
Italy is a country of beauty, creativity, design and one of the most important
traditions of the history of art, music and cinema. He has also become
one of the most bureaucratic and difficult places to organize events and festivals
like this one, due to the complex system of laws and statutes they require
a lot of time and effort to be addressed. This causes everything to be done
at the last minute, which doesn’t help attract the best talent
productions. We are in competition with other countries that make the
much easier planning.
He has founded many cultural festivals around the world such as the Festival
del Sole in Cortona, the Singapore Sun Festival, the Placido Domingo Festival
Seville. After Taormina, what will be your next cultural goals?
Right now my hands are full with Taormina!
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