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Singer Tony Bennett to Attend European Premiere of The Zen Of Bennett at the Arts Festival and be Special Musical Guest at Festival's 24 Hour Plays


New York, NY – (May 7, 2012) –IMG Artists (IMGA), the global leader in the performing arts and lifestyle events management, and Tribeca Enterprises (TE), the parent company of the Tribeca Film Festival founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in lower Manhattan in 2002, announced today Tribeca Firenze, which will bring world-class film premieres to the widely-anticipated Tuscan Sun Festival in Florence, Italy 11-18 June, founded by IMGA’s Barrett Wissman in 2003. Legendary performer and 17-time Grammy winner Tony Bennett is the first major celebrity to confirm participation in Tribeca Firenze.

Tribeca Firenze joins a stunning lineup of performing artists and celebrities, food, wine, and cultural and historical exhibitions at what the UK’s The Independent newspaper described as ‘one of the ten best festivals in Europe’. The Tuscan Sun Festival and its film initiative Tribeca Firenze are made possible through the principal support of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio of Florence, are being organized under the patronage of Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi and the City of Florence, and in partnership with the Fondazione Teatro della Pergola, the New Theater of the Maggio Musicale of Florence, the Odeon Cinema, and the Palazzo Strozzi. Gucci, the renowned Italian fashion House with strong ties to the City of Florence, will partner with the Tuscan Sun Festival as one of the lead sponsors of the festival.    

Tribeca Firenze will feature an extraordinary selection of films screened over five days, handpicked by Tribeca to complement the Tuscan Sun Festival’s broad palette of cultural offerings, bridging other art forms such as music and theater. Tribeca Firenze will present an international film panorama.

Among the films to be screened, Tribeca Firenze will present the European premiere of the film The Zen of Bennett, with Tony Bennett and his son Danny Bennett, who created and conceived the film, introducing the film. Filmed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe, the documentary employs a voyeuristic approach while illustrating the isolation experienced by the artist in the midst of the recording sessions for his #1 album Duets II.  Illustrating Bennett’s creative process are appearances by John Mayer, Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé and most poignantly, the late Amy Winehouse, all of whom recorded duets with the singer. The Zen of Bennett takes the viewer to a variety of locales including Los Angeles, Nashville, London, Italy – including a visit to Bennett’s ancestral home in Padagoni, Italy, as well as his home and art studio in New York City. 

Mr. Bennett will also be giving a special performance on 18 June at the Teatro della Pergola as part of the Festival’s 24 Hour Plays project. He will choose four songs that will become the inspiration for the four plays that will be written, rehearsed and performed within a period of 24 hours, and will perform each song before the play that it has inspired. The full schedule of films will be announced over the next few weeks leading up to the festival. The Tribeca Firenze screenings will be held at Florence’s Odeon Cinema, one of Italy’s most elegant and historic art noveau cinema-theatres located in the Palazzo Strozzino, originally built in 1462 during the height of the Renaissance.
“I’ve known Bob De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff for years, and I’m so thrilled that one of my first projects at IMGA will be to work closely with them on launching this fabulous new relationship with Tribeca. We’ve connected two organizations that strive to promote and sustain the arts.  Tribeca has a film-lover’s eye for finding and promoting the world’s best movies, so their contribution to the Tuscan Sun Festival will be immediate and lasting,” said Jerry Inzerillo, IMGA President and CEO.

“Tribeca’s mission is to provide filmmakers with audiences who are passionate about film, to make independent film accessible to a broad international community, and to move people with the power of cinema. These ideas are at the heart of our partnership with IMGA and the Tuscan Sun Festival,” said Geoffrey Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises.

The Tuscan Sun Festival, presented by the Associazione Culturale del Sole and produced by IMG Artists and its strategic visionaries Barrett Wissman and Alexander Shustorovich, is expanding its horizons by holding the festival for the first time in its new home of Florence, the capital of Tuscany and the jewel of the Italian Renaissance. In addition to Tribeca Firenze, the Festival will also include an expansive program of events, concerts, live theatre and culinary adventures, including John Malkovich selecting and presenting some of his best films, and performing as an actor and narrator in a special performance combining music, theatre and projections at the Teatro della Pergola on 17 June.

“The Tuscan Sun Festival has been a labor of love for me and IMGA.  The Festival is at its core a platform for the world’s greatest artistic talent and a celebration of the arts.  The Tribeca Firenze film program is a natural extension of the Tuscan Sun Festival and will also reflect the quality it has come to represent. Alexander and I are excited to help launch this new offering and look forward to stars such as Tony Bennett and John Malkovich joining us in Florence and sharing their artistry at our Festival,” said Barrett Wissman, IMGA Partner and Tuscan Sun Festival Founder and Director.

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About The Tuscan Sun Festival
Associazione Culturale del Sole and its producer, IMG Artists, are bringing the Tuscan Sun Festival to Florence for the first time, with a programme of leading international musicians, artists, actors and chefs. Working in tandem with some of Florence’s most important venues and presenters, the festival represents another step in the city’s ambition to strengthen its position as a leading cultural destination. The festival’s exciting programmes will be announced over the next several weeks.  Tickets for the Tuscan Sun Festival can be purchased from

About Tribeca Enterprises Tribeca Enterprises is a diversified global media company based in New York City. Established in 2003 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, the company currently operates a network of branded entertainment businesses including the Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival International, Tribeca Cinemas and Tribeca Film, a distribution label. It also has a strategic partnership with the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy.

The company’s mission is to provide artists with unique platforms to expand the audience for their works and to broaden the access point for consumers to experience independent film and media.

About IMG Artists:
Dynamic, diverse and innovative, IMG Artists is the global leader in the performing arts management, touring, consulting, government advisory, facilities management, and festival business.  With ten offices in eight countries, IMG Artists stays ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of entertainment.

About Tony Bennett:
Entering his seventh decade as a recording artist with over 100 albums and 15 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Bennett has earned his legendary status many times over.  He remains the Columbia recording artist with the greatest longevity at the label.  His 2007 prime-time special, “Tony Bennett:  An American Classic,” won seven Emmy Awards and was directed by Academy Award winner Rob Marshall.  He has performed for 10 US Presidents, from Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama.  He also worked with and marched alongside Martin Luther King in his 1965 civil rights march and was honored with the Martin Luther King’s Salute to Greatness Award. In addition to performing, he is a visual artist as well, with three of his original paintings featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian, including his portraits of Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington.  His humanitarian efforts are renowned and the United Nations honored him with their Humanitarian Award in 2007.  He has published three books – his autobiography, “The Good Life,” and two books of his paintings, “Tony Bennett: What My Heart Has Seen,” and “Tony Bennett In the Studio: A Life of Art and Music.”  Bennett founded, in association with the Department of Education in New York City, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts – a public arts high school in his hometown of Astoria, Queens. With his wife Susan, he established Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization which supports arts education in NYC public high schools.  Exploring the Arts supports 14 public high schools throughout New York City.  For more information please visit and



Tristen Hennigs, International Press

Laura Ruggieri, Italian Press

Tammie Rosen, Tribeca Enterprises


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