UPDATE: Despite an official Capri-Hollywood International Film Festival announcement, DreamWorks reports that it has not booked Steven Spielberg’s War Horse to make its European premiere at the festival. It doesn’t appear likely that the film will go there at this point or that there was ever a commitment. We can’t recall a festival claiming it had booked a major awards-season film, only to have that claim blow up in the face of organizers. On Sunday, the festival went so far as to issue this quote: “We thank the Maestro Spielberg and the Disney organization for granting us the privilege and the honor to host the European premiere of their film,” states Pascal Vicedomini, founder and producer of Capri, Hollywood. “There is a great anticipation for this event all over Campania even because of the ‘love story’ that was born between our Region and the great American Maestro. Last summer, Spielberg and his family spent their holidays sailing around the jewels of the Bays of Naples and Sorrento on board their yacht. The highly anticipated screening of War Horse — adds Vicedomini — confirms the delicate role of Capri-Hollywood as a launching pad in the race for the International Film Awards, including the Oscar and consolidates the European leadership of the Blue Island as the ideal gathering point between Italian cinematic art and the great American showbiz.” According to insiders in Spielberg’s camp, that simply isn’t the case.
EARLIER: The opening-night film at the Capri-Hollywood International Film Festival on December 27 will be the European premiere of Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, which unspools in the U.S. two days earlier on Christmas. It’s the latest move by Disney and DreamWorks to circumvent the traditional awards-season circuit but keep their movie in the conversation; they have been creating their own secret tour in tiny towns mostly in the Midwest or places like Bellevue, Wash. The Capri festival on the Italian island runs through January 2 and will feature a competition section and jury co-chaired by Melissa Leo, and tributes to Grace Kelly and British choreographer and filmmaker Lindsay Kemp.