Tff American Actor Richard Gere

Schermata 2016-03-16 a 2.26.09 PM

American Actor Richard Gere will be the honorary president of the 62nd Taormina Film Fest this year. The American Gigolo and Pretty Woman star will preside over the opening ceremonies along with U.S. Ambassador to Italy John Philips.

The opening night of the event will be dedicated to eradicating homelessness, which Gere has been a strong proponent for in recent years. Italy’s Ministry of Social Policies will be launching their #HomelessZero campaign at the event, which aims to raise awareness and fighting marginalization.  The event will also host 300 homeless people from Sicily to fill the Ancient theatre of Taormina. Gere is a famous supporter of human rights around the world, including his public support for human rights in Tibet.  He has also supported HIV/AIDS awareness and Survival International, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights and lands of tribal peoples around the world. Richard Gere has had his share of problems at award shows in the past.  In 1993, Gere was banned as an Academy Award presenter after he denounced the Chinese government while in his capacity of being a presenter.  Gere has publically called for the Chinese government to recognize Tibet as an independent sovereign state.
Gere will join the impressive list of past stars of international cinema who have hosted the event, including Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, and Tom Cruise.   Other stars expected to join Gere at this year’s event are American actress Susan Sarandon.