Gomez and teen actor Leo Howard add to the star power of the 12-year-old event already slated to host Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sylvester Stallone.
The Ischia Global Film & Music Fest announced Monday that actress, singer and teen idol Selena Gomez will be the surprise guest of honor at this year’s event, where she will be on hand for the international premiere of Rudderless, Gomez’s latest acting credit.
The festival also said that teen actor Leo Howard, best known for his roles in the television series Kickin’ It, will also attend the event to be honored with the Ischia Kids Global Icon prize. Howard will turn 16 years old during the festival. Gomez and Howard add new star power to an already celebrity-packed event pulled together by event founder Pascal Vicedomini: the festival previously announced it would honor Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor as actress and actor of the year, with Sylvester Stallone also expected to be on hand. Italy’s Paolo Virzi and Spider-Man director Marc Webb will be honored as directors of the year. Rudderless, the feature film-directing debut from veteran actor William H. Macy, premiered to strong reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore predicted the film would "be seen as a debut in keeping with Macy’s history of pairing memorable idiosyncrasy with commercial instincts." Rudderless will screen in Ischia July 19. In a statement, Vicedomini called the 22-year-old Gomez a "stylistic model and a true artist.