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Sir Ben gets with the beat at Ischia film and music festival


11 July 2007
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British thespian Ben Kingsley was in high spirits after adding yet another gong to his substantial awards collection this week. The Ghandi actor celebrated by enthusiastically playing on rhythm sticks in an impromptu music session with pals after receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Ischia Global Film and Music Festival.

He wasn't the only one in holiday mode at the summer event. Fellow Oscar-winner Hilary Swank, who also picked up a gong, decided to make the most of her trip to the Italian isle by bringing along her agent boyfriend, John Campisi, for the fun.

The low-key pair, who have been dating since last year, were seen cuddling and soaking up the sun by the shore. And networking was also on the menu, as the Million Dollar Baby actress took time to swap mobile numbers with Italian festival director Pascal Vicedomini.

Other big names to have descended on the hotspot in the Gulf of Naples are Welshman Ioan Gruffyd, his fiancée Alice Evans and 300 hunk Gerard Butler. And singers including Sheryl Crow and Laura Pausini, the princess of Italian pop, were there to be honoured with career achievement trophies.

The star-studded festival, which is in its fifth year and is based at the Regina Isabella hotel in the town of Lacco Ameno, is being chaired by Crash director Paul Haggis.

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Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Gandhi actor got the party started with an impromptu jamming session alongside Dutch socialite Yolanda Hadid and music producer David Foster Photo: © Rex
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Meanwhile, Million Dollar Baby star Hilary took time out from sunbathing with her boyfriend to swap details with the director of the Ischia festival Pascal Vicedomini Photo: © Rex