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Film Festival Today

Founded by Jeremy Taylor

Jailed Actor Misses Cannes Red Carpet Premiere

Written by: FFT Webmaster | May 25th, 2012

Aniello Arena, one of the stars of the Cannes competition entry REALITY, was a no show at the film’s red carpet gala premiere this past weekend……for good reason. For the past 20 years, he has been incarcerated in an Italian prison where he is serving a life sentence for murder. Speaking to the press following the film’s first screening, Italian director Matteo Garrone did acknowledge that Arena is imprisoned, and that he was allowed to shoot the movie during the day as long as he returned to the prison each night. In the film, Arena stars as a fishmonger who is obsessed with getting on the Italian version of the reality show BIG BROTHER. Arena was discovered by Garrone acting in the Fortezza Theater Company, a prison troupe that is based at the Volterra Detention Center but allowed to appear at festivals and theaters around Italy. Critics have praised the newcomer’s performance as one of the best of the Festival, even adding to speculation that he might be considered for the top acting prize. However, unless Italian authorities agree to it, the closest he will come to attending the closing awards ceremony this weekend will be to watch it in the prison television room. Only in Europe, folks……

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