GIFFONI VALLE PIANA, ITALY – JULY 18: Actor Nicolas Cage attends 2012 Giffoni Film Festival press conference on July 18, 2012 in Giffoni Valle Piana, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

During the press conference, Nicolas Cage began by saying: “To be an Oscar winning actor is less important to me than being here in Giffon. And I’ve never dodged taxes”. Nicolas Cage is a legendary talent at Giffoni Film Festival which is the most important international festival for kids and youth. He came in typical cool rock star style, wearing jeans, T-shirt and blue devalee jacket. He immediately swept the ceremony rules away by mixing with the jurors to greet them and take pictures with them, too. Then, he answered the questions of the journalists. It took him 5 seconds to sort out the confusion relating to his hypothetical tax evasion: “I’ve never dodged taxes, otherwise I would be in jail” – he cut short. Some journalists tried to make him lose his temper, reminding him that, even if he was the Academy Award winning in 1996 for the film “Leaving Las Vegas”, he has won the “Razzy Award”, which is the prize for the worst acting in films. “Prizes mean nothing to me. I don’t take them too much seriously. I care about other things, such as the Giffoni Film Festival which counts more than a prize. I’m proud of my Italian origins, love Italian food, culture and mythology.

But most of all, I’ve literally fallen in love with the Giffoni Film Festival basic idea, which gives voice to kids and youth from all over the world. It is the unique philosophy in the world which makes us aware that we are all human and with the same feelings. Young people who participate in Giffoni learn to love each other before adults teach them to hate on the basis of their different cultures”.

He was still unsure about the future. His next film to be released is “Frozen Ground”, set in Alaska, where he will play the role of a policeman tracing a dangerous serial killer, played by John Cusack. “Then, I still don’t know if I’m going to play the role of Thomas Edison in the film on Nikola Tesla. I would like to play in films about which I have read in newspaper or magazines” – he said. “The truth is that I still haven’t decided, I have no production and directing projects. I want to concentrate myself only on my acting work and I would like to turn out once more to shoot an independent film, so to return to my origins”. It is known his passion for comics: “I don’t collect them anymore now” – he said – “I did it when I was young and I read a lot. I think that comics’ characters are like models to follow for young people”. In one of his most famous film “The Family Man” he played the role of a manager who decides to go back in time. “What would I change of my life if I turned back time? This question is like a trap” – he said – “I’ve lived for 48 years old and I would change absolutely nothing in my life”. The Giffoni Film Festival’s theme is happiness this year: “What makes me feel happy is travelling, meeting new people and reading new poetry”. Any suggestions for youth who want to work in films? “I mean, it’s a dream and you need to go ahead even if you’ll find people in life who will tell you ‘No, it’s just no worth it!’, people who will try to destroy that dream, to win frustrating your plans writing bad things about you on internet or by emails”. Nevertheless, art improves people’s life, makes you fight against crime. So I’m deeply convinced that kids and youth should be trained in art; if they are angry, art will brighten them, will take them far from drug abuse and violence”. He thanked his mother and when he was asked questions about his relationship with his uncle, the director Francis Ford Coppola, he answered “I’m happy about the whole Coppola family.”

Nicolas Cage attends 2012 Giffoni Film Festival red carpet on July 18, 2012 in Giffoni Valle Piana, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)


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