Taormina Film Fest (TFF) is a historic film festival that began in 1955 under the name Rassegna Cinematografica Internazionale di Messina e Taormina. The exhibition, which moved permanently to Taormina in 1971, has hosted over the years many stars of international cinema: Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Sophia Loren, Cary Grant, Robert De Niro, Colin Firth, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Tom Cruise, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, among others. The award is the Nastro d'Argento in Italian cinema (Silver Ribbon).
From 1957 to 1980 there was the award ceremony of David di Donatello, named after Donatello's David, a movie award assigned each year for cinematic performances and production by Ente David di Donatello, part of Accademia del Cinema Italiano. It is the Italian equivalent to the Academy Award. The aim was to honour the best of each year’s Italian and foreign films, similar to the American Oscars. However, the Davids have been and are awarded by the people in the industry: screenwriters, performers, technicians, producers and so on. The ceremonies were held at the Greek Theatre in Taormina. During the years the ceremony was held in Taormina, it was organized by journalist and film producer Michael Stern who later went on to found The Michael Stern Parkinson's Research Foundation in New York City.
The festival was directed from 1999 to 2006 by Felice Laudadio, who has brought to Sicily major names in world cinema. The 2004 festival was its fiftieth anniversary.
From 2007, the director is Deborah Young, for many years the vice-director under Laudadio. The event has hosted, for several years, the award ceremony for the Nastro d'Argento in Italian cinema, a competition in which many international films preview. It takes place in the city's Greek Theater. Enrico Ghezzi, director from 1991 to 1998, renamed the show TaoFest.
- Arturo Arena (1955)
- Michele Ballo (1956 - 1968)
- Giuseppe Campione (1969 - 1970)
- Gian Luigi Rondi (1971 - 1980)
- Guglielmo Biraghi (1981 - 1990)
- Enrico Ghezzi (1991-1998)
- Felice Laudadio (1999-2006)
- Deborah Young (2007-2011)
- Mario Sesti (2012-2016)
- Felice Laudadio (2017)
- Gianvito Casadonte e Silvia Bizio (2018-2019)
- Leo Gullotta e Francesco Calogero (2020)
- She won also Nastro d'Argento in 2000.
- He won also Taormina Arte Award in 2001.
- He won also Taormina Arte Award in 2002.