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Articles by: Mario Gates

  • Events: Reports

    41º Parallelo. A Cinematic Bridge Between Naples and NYC


    The 8th edition of 41º Parallelo, the American spin-off of the Napoli Film Festival, run by Davide Azzolini, is about to start (Nov 28-Dec 1). NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò will host a series of events, open to all, where the reality of Naples is captured on film.
     
     
    Monday, November 28, 6 PM
    SchermoNapoli, a selection of shorts Made in Naples. In Italian with English subtitles.
     
    "Jody delle Giostre" directed by Adriano Sforzi (Ita, 2011, 13 min)

    "DisAbili" directed by Angelo Cretella (Ita, 2010, 15 min)

    "108,1 FM Radio" directed by Angelo e Giuseppe Capasso (Ita, 2011, 15 min)

    "Dulce" directed by Ivan Ruiz Flores (Ita/Spa, 2011, 15 min)

    "La currybonara" directed by Ezio Maisto (Ita, 2010, 15 min)

    "Le storie che invento non le so raccontare" directed by Francesco Lettieri (Ita, 2011, 14 min)

    "The story of a mother" directed by Alessandro De Vivo and Ivano Di Natale (Ita, 2010, 18 min)

    "Travel companions a colori" directed by Ferdinando Carcavallo (Ita, 2011, 11 min)

    "Il sogno" di Gennaro directed by Antonio Manco (Ita, 2010, 25 min)
     
    Wednesday, November 30, 6 PM
    O’Mast (2011), Screening of the documentary directed by Gianluca Migliarotti and panel discussion. Panelists include the director, Stefano Albertini, director of Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò and Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli, professor of Italian and Comparative Literature (CUNY).
     
    This film is a journey inside the tradition of bespoke tailoring in the city of Naples. It's a story that wants to celebrate the dressmakers and their craft. There are some key words to this documentary: excellence, dignity, beauty, work, elegance, passion. 
     
    Thursday, December 1, 6 PM
    Catene (Chains) (1949), Screening of the film directed by Raffaello Matarrazzo and panel discussion. Panelists are Stefano Albertini, director of Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò and Antonio Monda, Professor NYU and journalist.
     
    After years of making mostly comedies and literary adaptations, Raffaello Matarazzo turned to melodrama with this intense tale of a tight-knit working-class famili shattered by temptation. There’s a touch of noir in Chains, in which the saintly yet earthy Yvonne Sanson, as the devoted wife of a mechanic (Amedeo Nazzari), finds herself unwillingly drawn back to an ex-love who has turned to crime.
     
    For additional details: http://www.casaitaliananyu.org/

  • Events: Reports

    Honoring Italian American heritage with NIAF

    Time is running out, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)'s Washington Convention is about to start. The two-day convention (October 28-29) in the nation’s capital includes special receptions, entertainment and seminars, and most importantly a prestigious Gala.

    NIAF serves as a unified voice for the Italian American community and its mission is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Italy and Americans of Italian descent while offering educational and youth programs including scholarships, grants, heritage travel and mentoring to prepare individuals to assume their roles as future leaders.

    In keeping with their tradition of hosting the President of the United States, NIAF is proud to announce that President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the 36th Anniversary Awards Gala on Saturday, October 29, 2011, at the Washington Hilton. The black-tie event begins with a 5 p.m.reception followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

    Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the United States House of Representatives, will introduce President Obama to the more than 2,000 guests gathered to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Italian Americans.

    “We are honored to have President Obama address the largest gathering of Italian Americans in the country at the Foundation’s annual gala.

    His presence is significant as we celebrate the rich culture of Italian Americans as well as commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Italy’s Unification and National Italian American Heritage Month,” stated John F. Calvelli, NIAF Secretary and Chair of the Government Affairs Committee.



    United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., the Italian American Congressional Delegation of the 112th Congress of the United States including United States Representatives Michael Grimm, John Mica, Dana Rohrabacher as well as former senator Alfonse D’Amato, Hon. Louis Freeh, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI), John Podesta, president and CEO of The Center for American Progress and the United States Ambassador to Italy Hon. David Thorne, and Italy’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Giuliomaria Terzi di Sant’Agata will also attend the NIAF gala.



    This year’s NIAF gala honorees include Claudio Bozzo, president of Mediterranean Shipping Company (USA) Inc., Hon. Capri Cafaro, Minority Leader of the Ohio Senate; Dion DiMucci, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; Hon. Frank J. Guarini, former United States congressman and NIAF chairman emeritus; Frank G. Mancuso, Sr., former chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio; Emma Marcegaglia, president of Confindustria; Paolo Scudieri, CEO of Adler Plastic S.p.A.; and Santo Versace, president of Gianni Versace S.p.A. and chairman of the Board of Fondazione Operation Smile Italia Onlus.

    The two-day program also includes, among the numerous events (for a complete schedule click on www.niaf.org) the Expo Italia trade show, two days of showcasing the Best of Italy!

    Vendors will offer samples of olive oils, chocolates and pasta, in addition to displaying top-of-the-line products from Italy. Highlights of the two days will include an opportunity to see the latest Italian luxury cars, including a Lamborghini and Maserati, sampling of Peroni Nastro Azzurro Beer, and wine tasting from Nuschese Wines of Capital Wines.

    For additinal information and a full schedule of events go to NIAF's website: www.niaf.org

  • Facts & Stories

    Italy's Poverty on the Rise

    Italian newspapers are writing about what has now been labeled a “new poverty,” a poverty whose victims are people who do own a house and do have a job but who still have serious financial problems. From 2007 to 2010 there has been an increase of people in this situation of about 13.8%; in Southern Italy the increase reached 74%. The data was provided by the Catholic charity Caritas-Fondazione Zancan. (Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide).

    The “new poverty” phenomenon has been growing in the last four years (every four years, representatives from all Caritas member countries meet in the Vatican City to review work carried out and approve a budget). Differently from the classic concept of “poverty,” regarding someone homeless and jobless, these people do have a place to residence, they do have an occupation and they do have a family but getting by is extremely difficult. The majority of them are young: about 20% of those asking for assistance at specialized centers are below 35 years of age. In just five years, from 2005-2010, the percentage of young people in a poverty situation has increased by 59.6%. 76.1% (it was 70% in 2005) does not study or work.

    In four years (2007-2010) the requests of economic support at the Caritas Centers has increased by 80.8%. Overall, more people (19.8% total) are contacting them with different requests. In 2010 Caritas had counted 8.272.000 poor people (about 13.8% of all population); in 2009 they were 7.810.000 (13.1%).

    Among the first issues reported there is economic poverty, that is followed by lack of jobs and family crises. Overall in the last four years the request of external help, such as groups of volunteers, public or private organizations, churches and charities, has increased by 83.1%. There is also a strong increase of financial aids (+80.8%) and professional consulting (+46.1%).

    There is a decrease of requests for social support (-38.6%) and job assistance (-8.5%).

    According to Caritas “poverty strikes the entire family: everybody suffers from stress, on a different level, although women and young kids are the ones who suffer the most.”

    In 2004, for example, 75% of issues involved primary needs such as, home, food and healthcare; in 2010 that value increased to 81.9% while post-materialistic problems, such as psychological matters and addiction emergencies decreased from 25 to 18.1%. The “home issue” has become an emergency, as it has increased of 23.6% in the last four years.

    Foreigners are particularly vulnerable and they represent 70% of those who ask for assistance.
    According to a survey done by Caritas operators, those who suffer major hardship are immigrants who live alone, who are male, between 25-40 years of age. Generally speaking they have job-related issues (66.4%) and live in economic poverty (62.5%).

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    Sipping Spirits at the Spirit of Italy

    The experience of the aperitivo is a consolidated Italian tradition. Literally, aperitivo is a pre-meal drink whose scope is to stimulate appetite, but it has come to signify the ritual of going out for a drink at one of the many bars that offer it throughout the peninsula. Aperitivo is a well established custom that has traveled far and it has been adopted in other countrues as well.

    Yet there is another “drinking” tradition in Italy, spirits like amaro or grappa are enjoyed after a meal as digestivos, in order to help digestion. I-Italy's own, Charles Scicolone, defined grappa as the “perfect way to end a meal.” Grappa and other spirits are the protagonists of The Spirit of Italy, a series of events that is taking over New York City this season, offering the city’s residents and visitors unprecedented access to Italy’s most exciting cocktail spirits.

    Eight of Italy’s most historic and popular distilleries—Amaro Lucano, Nardini, Luxardo, Distillerie Moccia, Pallini, Strega Alberti, Toschi, and Varnelli—will host tastings, classes and events so spirits’ enthusiasts can see for themselves the quality liqueurs that make Italy’s cocktail culture so diverse and cutting-edge.

    Spirit drinks have an important legacy in Italy, a close connection to the territory and history of where they’re made. Yet spirits are also one of those most innovative sectors of Italian culture—the country’s long-standing aperitivo is perennially on the crest of new trends in cocktails, mixology and nightlife, and it is the producers of Italian spirits that lead that charge.

    The Spirit of Italy promotes these Italian spirits, but it also represents Italy’s devotion to tasteful and enjoyable experiences. The project is a link between culture, tradition and quality—the real essence of Italian liqueurs, grappa and digestivi.

    The companies that make up The Spirit of Italy are led by families that shepherd strong brands and time-honored traditions in their work, and have been doing so since their inception. They’ve passed down their philosophies, ambitions and closely guarded secret recipes through loyal generations.

    When The Spirit of Italy lands in New York City this fall, the celebration will include a series of in-house tastings where the spirits can be sampled on their own or in creative cocktails. Renowned cocktail maestro Francesco Lafranconi, Corporate Director of Mixology and Spirits Education for Southern Wines & Spirits, will lead a tasting and seminar, as well as a mixology session where attendees can taste innovative cocktails he created exclusively for this event. These creations include the Noci e Limoni, a blend of hazlenut, walnut and limoncello spirits; the Spiced Intentions, which blends herbal liqueurs with chai tea and Scotch whisky; the Mistero, a mix of classic Italian spirits with rum and sherry; and the Winter Blanket, a blend of zabaglione liqueur, grappa and tea. Additional classes and tastings spotlighting each producer offer guests the chance to experience each historic liqueur.

    The Spirit of Italy tastings, classes, and other events will take place at Eataly, the temple to Italian gastronomy, and Macao Trading Co. in the city’s Tribeca neighborhood, on October 14, 15, and 16.

    The schedule:

    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14

    6:00-7:00pm Class (Location: La Scuola) Nardini + Distillerie Moccia
    7:00-9:00pm Mixology Session with Francesco Lafranconi (Location: La Piazza)

    SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15
    2:00-3:00pm Class (Location: La Scuola) Strega Alberti + Luxardo
    6:00-7:00pm Class (Location: La Scuola) Amaro Lucano + Varnelli
    4:00-9:00pm: In-store Tasting

    SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16
    12:30-1:30pm Class (Location: La Scuola) Toschi + Pallini
    1:00-6:00pm: In-store Tasting

    From October 14th to 24th, these spirits will show up in specials at Eataly’s restaurants (La Pizza & Pasta, Le Verdure, Il Pesce, La Piazza, and also at La Birreria). They will also be exhibited in Eataly’s Wine Store, where visitors can taste them from Friday, October 14th through Monday, October 24th.

  • Events: Reports

    Hit Week: Bringing the Cool Sounds of Italy to NYC, LA, and Miami

    There is more to Italian music than “Volare, Verdi's operas and , mandolin melancholy and maudlin mafia soundtracks. So Francesco Del Maro, who has been immersed in the Italian music industry for 15 years, decided things had to change and he threw a party and got dozens of hip Italian musicians to L.A. for a multi-night, multi-venue blow out.

    That was two years ago. Now, Hit Week (October 10-16, 2011) has blossomed intoa three-city festival thanks in part to support from Italian institutions, highlighting the catchiest and edgiest music Italy has to offer. On major stages and in intimate clubs in New York City, L.A., and (for the first time this year) Miami, wild-eyed Zappa devotees and electro-powered rock, sleek globally inspired jazz and dubbed-out trip hop collide for a whirlwind romp through the Italian music scene.

    For Hit Week, it’s about power and savvy, not origins. “Hit Week doesn’t focus on the music that’s recognizably from Italy,” explains Del Maro. “The language isn’t important. We’re looking for music of global caliber; that’s so good, it doesn’t matter where it’s from.” This formula has worked: In its short history, Hit Week’s audiences have doubled and the festival has established a foothold in some of the toughest U.S. markets.

    “There’s nothing better than seeing young Americans in their 20s shouting into their cell phones at a show about a group they’ve just seen,” remarks Del Maro, festival curator and instigator. “When you hear them rave about a band, that they can’t believe this is Italian music, it’s just amazing.”Though broadly appealing, Hit Week’s artists have a distinctly Italian spirit. Several hail from the country’s unsung musical hotspots—like the increasingly popular travel destination of Puglia—scenes few Americans are aware of.

    The artists participating are: Subsonica, who make electro-laced rock with catchy hooks, big sounds, and intense appeal, Caparezza, a wacky Adriatic alt-rocker who makes devilishly clever pop, Nicola Conte and his super-cool grooves and worldly sounds put polished spin on jazz, Casino Royale, the slick secret agents of Italian trip hop, Après La Classe who make dry humor and uptempo world beats from Puglia (back by popular demand) and Erica Mou, the Italian Alanis Morisette who mixes acoustic flair with thoughtful intensity.

    Hit Week artists vary wildly, but they share a certain spirit. They flirt with local sounds, satirize local conditions, climb local charts, and pack local stadiums with hundreds of thousands of dedicated fans. Subsonica have scored numerous number one hits in Italy, making them the current darling of the rock scene. Caparezza sells out major arenas on a regular basis, thanks to his high-energy, always changing, innately quirky shows.

    Italian artists are also quietly attracting the attention of international heavyweights, be they edgy producers or major labels. Nicola Conte just signed a deal with international jazz mainstays, Impulse. Casino Royale have teamed up with Scottish DJ Howie B (who’s worked with everyone from Tricky to U2) to trade dub breaks and licks. Rising star Erica Mou is working with Bjork’s producer, Valgeir Sigurðsson, whose shimmering electronic touches unveil new facets of Mou’s raw, personal songs.

    Along side these major acts and hot newcomers, Hit Week will showcase the best of Italy’s burgeoning crop of emerging music, selected via Facebook contest, thanks to the involvement of the Italian Minister of Young Generation. Young bands get to travel to the U.S. and play for new listeners and industry heavyweights alike. “It’s been great for artists just starting out,” explains Del Maro. “Some participants from previous years went on to play various major U.S. festivals.”

    Hit Week aims not only to bring creative young Italians to the U.S.; it’s reaching out to young Americans, getting them exposed to the coolest moments of the Italian scene. As part of its ongoing partnership with local universities, the festival is arranging several meet-and-greet opportunities at local colleges (UCLA, Columbia, University of Miami) that will bring together artists and audiences in a casual, intimate setting.

    “Hit Week shows that Italian artists are second to none,” Del Maro says. “We are not coming from the third world of music, but have something new to tell the world.”

    HIT WEEK NYC DETAILS  (scroll down for LA and Miami):

    10/10/2011, Mon
    New York, NY
    Après la Classe @ (le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 6:00 pm, Show: 7:15 pm
    Note: ticket price includes Après La Classe & Caparezza.
    Ph: (212)353-3474

    10/10/2011, Mon
    New York, NY
    Caparezza @ (le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 6:00 pm, Show: 8:15 pm
    Note: ticket price includes Après La Classe & Caparezza.
    Ph: (212)353-3474

    10/10/2011, Mon
    New York, NY
    Erica Mou @ (le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 10:30 pm, Show: 10:45 pm
    Note: ticket price includes both Erica Mou & Nicola Conte.
    Ph: (212)353-3474

    10/10/2011, Mon
    New York, NY
    Nicola Conte Jazz Combo @ (le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 10:30 pm, Show: 11:30 pm
    Note: ticket price includes both Erica Mou & Nicola Conte.
    Ph: (212)353-3474

    10/11/2011, Tue
    New York, NY
    Casino Royale @ Highline Ballroom, 431 W 16th St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 6:00 pm, Show: 8:45 pm
    Note: ticket price includes both Casino Royale & Subsonica.
    Ph: (212)414-5994

    10/11/2011, Tue
    New York, NY
    Subsonica @ Highline Ballroom, 431 W 16th St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 6:00 pm,
    Show: 10:00 pm
    Note: ticket price includes both Casino Royale & Subsonica.
    Ph: (212)414-5994

    HIT WEEK LOS ANGELES DETAILS:

    10/11/2011, Tue
    Los Angeles, CA
    Erica Mou @ Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 W Sunset Blvd #100
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Show: 8:00 pm
    Note: Ticket price includes both Erica Mou & Nicola Conte.
    Ph: (323)466-2210

    10/11/2011, Tue
    Los Angeles, CA
    Nicola Conte Jazz Combo @ Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 W Sunset Blvd #100
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Show: 9:00 pm
    PNote: Ticket price includes both Erica Mou & Nicola Conte.
    Ph: (323)466-2210

    10/12/2011, Wed
    Los Angeles, CA
    Après la Classe @ El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Boulevard
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:15 pm, Show: 8:45 pm
    Note: ticket price includes both Après La Classe & Caparezza.
    Ph: (323)936-6400

    10/12/2011, Wed
    Los Angeles, CA
    Caparezza @ El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Boulevard
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:15 pm, Show: 10:00 pm
    Note: ticket price includes both Après La Classe & Caparezza.
    Ph: (323)936-6400

    10/13/2011, Thu
    West Hollywood, CA
    Casino Royale @ Key Club, 9039 West Sunset Boulevard
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:15 pm, Show: 9:15 pm
    Note: Ticket price includes both Casino Royale & Subsonica. Ph: (310)274-5800

    10/13/2011, Thu
    West Hollywood, CA
    Subsonica @ Key Club, 9039 West Sunset Boulevard
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:15 pm, Show: 10:30 pm
    Note: Ticket price includes both Casino Royale & Subsonica.
    Ph: (310)274-5800

    HIT WEEK MIAMI DETAILS:

    10/14/2011, Fri
    Miami, FL
    Erica Mou @ PAX, 337 S.W 8 St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:30 pm, Show: 9:00 pm
    Note: Ticket price include Erica Mou & Nicola Conte.
    Ph: (305)640-5847

    10/14/2011, Fri
    Miami, FL
    Nicola Conte Jazz Combo @ PAX, 337 S.W 8 St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:30 pm, Show: 10:00 pm
    Note: Ticket price include Erica Mou & Nicola Conte.
    Ph: (305)640-5847

    10/15/2011, Sat
    Miami, FL
    Après la Classe @ PAX, 337 S.W 8 St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:15 pm, Show: 8:45 pm
    Note: Ticket price includes both Après La Classe & Caparezza.
     Ph: (305)640-5847

    10/15/2011, Sat
    Miami, FL
    Caparezza @ PAX, 337 S.W 8 St.
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:15 pm, Show: 10:05 pm
    Note: Ticket price includes both Après La Classe & Caparezza.
    Ph: (305)640-5847

    10/16/2011, Sun
    Miami, FL
    Casino Royale @ Grand Central Miami, 697 North Miami Avenue
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:00 pm, Show: 8:25 pm
    Note: Ticket price includes both Casino Royale & Subsonica.
    Ph: (305)377-2277

    10/16/2011, Sun
    Miami, FL
    Subsonica @ Grand Central Miami, 697 North Miami Avenue
    Tix: $15 advance, $20 at the door,
    Doors Open: 8:00 pm, Show: 9:35 pm
    Note: Ticket price includes both Casino Royale & Subsonica.
    Ph: (305)377-2277

    Hit Week is produced by Francesco Del Maro for Music Experience Roma Italy and Mela Inc. Los Angeles, with the support of The Minister of Young Generation, The Italian Federation of Music Industry, The Puglia Region, The Italian Trade Commission of Los Angeles, The Ministry of Economic Development, The National Italian American Foundation, The Rhythm Foundation Miami, Gibson, Dw, Acqua Panna, Rockol, Made in Roma, Dw Drums, Paiste and more.

  • Il Volo Flies to New York

    IL VOLO, the three teenage tenors from Italy who have taken the US by storm with the release of their self-titled debut album, joined forces with Ferrarelle to bring the passion of the “Made in Italy” brand to the US as the Italian water sponsors the first-ever US tour for the band.

    Building upon the “classical pop” musical category, IL VOLO has captured the hearts of the nation following stirring performances on American Idol where they received a standing ovation from judges and audience members and CBS' The Talk. Already platinum in their native Italy, IL VOLO showcases the astonishing vocal talents of Piero Barone (17 years old), Ignazio Boschetto (16 years old), and Gianluca Ginoble (16 years old) as they perform both new and traditional classically influenced pop songs.

    In May 2009, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca appeared on the popular Italian talent show "Ti Lascio Una Canzone" and dazzled television viewers with their flawless rendition of the Neapolitan standard "O Sole Mio." The show features a competition between the most beloved songs in the history of Italian pop music. The songs are performed by young singing talents, who interpret the best loved songs of Italian pop music during each broadcast. The young singers are selected from among the leading students of today’s most prestigious music schools. They are assigned songs as solos, duets, and trios; they sing some songs all together as an ensemble. They may also perform with the show's guests. A 30-piece orchestra backs the performances. The show is extremely popular but controversies are not lacking as many see the way the young participants are portrayed as exploitative.

    During their participation at the show the group was called the Trio but then the boys decided their group needed a name. "IL VOLO," meaning "flight," was chosen to signify the feeling that these three young tenors were about to spread their wings and fly. It wasn't long before IL VOLO’s manager — Michele Torpedine landed a worldwide recording contract for the trio with Universal Music Group which released IL VOLO's self-titled debut album in Italy in November 2010, where in less than three months, with no radio or video airplay, no single sales and only a few television performances, it was certified platinum. IL VOLO became the first Italian artists to sign with Geffen Records in the United States.

    IL VOLO first came to America this past February during awards season where they performed at many exclusive events including a showcase at Geffen Chairman Ron Fair's home, a private pre-Grammy dinner at the home of Chairman/CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M Jimmy Iovine and at TWC head Harvey Weinstein's pre-Oscar party.
     

    Their single "O Solo Mio" has been seen by over one million fans on YouTube and their self-titled debut, which is a mix of reimagined classics and original material produced by the multi Grammy Award-winning Humberto Gatica and the world renowned Italian singer/producer Tony Renis, is heading toward platinum status in the US. Fans of the hugely popular HBO show Entourage were treated to appearance on the series finale from the boys. Press reviews praise the talent of the trio and according to The Village Voice, “IL VOLO wring every ounce of emotion from the classical-crossover material on their self-titled debut, then find just a bit more to extract.”

    Il VOLO has made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. This month they will appear live on The Today Show in NYC, leading up to a dedicated PBS Special and Fund Drive on October 24th. PBS believes that the universal success of the boys will significantly increase donations to the organization. The band will embark on their first whirlwind nationwide tour sponsored by Ferrarelle USA, playing in venues from NYC to LA. They will also perform at the famed Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas in October.

    Partnering with Ferrarelle USA was a natural choice for the young band. “We grew up drinking this water and it is a constant reminder of home when we are on the road,” said Piero Barone. “The subtleties of the effervescence make it the ideal water for when we practice and perform.”
     

    They will perform in NYC on Monday, October 3rd at the Beacon theater.

  • Events: Reports

    New York City Loves Torino Piemonte

    On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Film Commission Torino Piemonte (FCTP), the Italian Cultural Institute of New York is hosting a 4-day symposium to promote a dialogue between FCTP and New York based movie professionals, film critics and film lovers alike. A few selected institutional guests and prominent Italian directors, such as Saverio Costanzo and Davide Ferrario, are going to present FCTP’s work and activities, based on 225 million euro invested in more than 300 film productions to promote either established or upcoming directors.

     
    The program features screenings of recent productions, such as scenes of featured films, TV movies and the documentary Walls and Borders, a benefit project realized thanks to the commitment of 83 different directors to the International Help Onlus. Costanzo & Ferrario’s most important works will be featured and they will also be involved in two lessons of the course Modern Italy: History & Film at Yale University.
     
    FCTP is also organizing a series of business oriented meetings, which are geared towards leading New York-based producers, on FCTP’s multitude of activities and Doc Film Fund and FIP (Film Investimenti Piemonte) film funding opportunities. FCTP is a non-profit foundation, established and financially supported by Regione Piemonte and Turin City Council.

    Operating since September 2000, FCTP has set as its main goal the promotion of Piedmont and its capital city, Turin, as an excellence film location and working place for film and television productions, thus attracting to the area Italian and foreign productions while supporting the local film and television industry, creating therefore new working opportunities for professionals involved in this sector. FCTP’s main activity is to support all film and television production companies that choose Piedmont and its area to produce their works, by offering a series of services ranging from screenplay first analysis, to location search, up to granting all the required permits through council and province administration offices throughout the duration of the shooting, up to the preview of the film on the territory or festivals in the case the film is selected.
     
    As well as supporting productions on an organizational level, FCTP contributes to the reduction of accommodation costs with funds linked to the production’s commitment on the territory also measured in terms of local art and technical work force involved in the production crew. Moreover in 2007 Piemonte Doc Film Fund, a documentary fund, was established to support documentary productions through funds granted by the region administration and FCTP itself. And in 2010 FIP, a revolving fund for national productions and international co-production, was added as a tool to further enhance the production system within the Regione Piemonte.
     
    Calendar of Events:
     
    Tuesday, September 27th – 1:00 PM
    Italian Cultural Institute (686 Park Avenue)
    A screening of the film ensemble Walls and Borders (2009, 290 ')
    83 directors, 70 episodes, one topic: Walls and Borders
    Walls and Borders is a 5 hours collective film involving 83 Italian and international directors.
    Seventy episodes, each lasting between 30 second and five minutes, explore the geographical, physical, psychological and social Walls and Borders that draw the lines of the societies we live in. Twenty years ago the Berlin's wall taken down, nowadays other walls are raised against human freedom. Each director gave his personal interpretation of the topic, following his sensibility and with no genre restraints, so the film continuously shifts from documentary to fiction, from animation to video art, to hit the audience with multiple points of view and information. The realization of the project has been possible together with the financial aid of Regione Piemonte, the Multimedia Lab "G. Quazza" of the University of Torino, the Music Conservatory "G. Verdi" of Torino with Machiavelli music Publishing and with the patronage of Comune di Torino. Walls and Borders is not just a cultural experience; in fact been benefited the no profit organization International Help whose projects are spread in the poorest countries of the world. Free admission by reservation.
     
    Tuesday, September 27th - 6:00 PM
    Italian Cultural Institute of New York - 686 Park Avenue
    Feature Films Shot in Piedmont
    Screening of Davide Ferrario’s Freedom (Tutta Colpa Di Giuda). The film will be introduced by Mr. Ferrario, together with Davide Bracco, Director of FCTP. Professor Riccardo Viale, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of New York will moderate the discussion. Q & A will follow the screening. Free admission by reservation.
     
    Wednesday, September 28th - 6:00 PM
    Italian Cultural Institute of New York - 686 Park Avenue
    The Documentary Medium and the Production System in Piedmont
    Screening of Davide Ferrario’s Piazza Garibaldi and Saverio Costanzo’s The Red Room (La Sala Rossa).
    Introductions to the screenings by Costanzo & Ferrario together with Mr. Daniele Segre, Production Manager of FCTP. The introductions will be moderated by Professor Antonio Monda of New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts. Q & A following the screening. Free admission by reservation.

    Thursday, September 29th - 6:00 PM
    Casa Italian Zerilli-Marimò - 24 West 12th Street
    Feature Films Shot in Piedmont
    Screening of The Solitude of Prime Numbers (La Solitudine dei Numeri Primi), directed by Saverio Costanzo.
    Introductions to the screening by Mr. Costanzo, David Bracco, Director of FCTP, and Riccardo Viale, Director of the Italian Institute of Culture in New York. Moderated by Stefano Albertini, Director of Casa Italian Zerilli-Marimò. Q & A following the screening. Free admission subject to availability.

    Friday, September 30th - 6:00 PM
    Italian Cultural Institute of New York - 686 Park Avenue
    Torino Piemonte Closing Night in New York City
    Closing remarks by FCTP President Davide Bracco and Riccardo Viale Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. A round-table discussion will be held after closing remarks, analyzing the American and Italian film production systems and their affinities and differences. Round-table panelists include Daniele Segre, production manager of FCTP, Eugene Kelly, producer of the TV series Boardwalk Empire and Rome, Anne Carey, producer of The American with George Clooney, among others. Free admission by reservation.

     
     

  • Life & People

    Eat Italian at the Saratoga Wine and Food & Fall Ferrari Festival

    The great wines and specialties of Italian cooking were the protagonists of the Saratoga Wine and Food & Fall Ferrari Festival, that took place in Saratoga Springs, New York, on September 9-11.

    The rich program featured a series of events designed to introduce the American public to the best of the MADE IN ITALY seal of quality. Among the different activities guests had the chance to participate in specialized business meetings, tastings of traditional products and specialties, and seminars held by American experts.

    The celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson starred in the culinary demo titled Kids Cooking Revolution, where, using Italian products, he showed American kids and their parents the importance of healthy eating. Kevin Zraly, renown wine expert, Lou di Palo, “guru” of authentic Italian cheeses, as well as Michael Wilson and Joe Campanale of the magazine La Cucina Italiana, participated in interesting conversations among American wine lovers and the numerous foodies that were attending specific seminars.
     

    The Italian pavilion was visited by more then 3.500 consumers. The pavilion, surrounded by the mystical beauty of the park of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, featured a large selection of prestigious wines and liquors, and, of course, food specialties.

    The evening event After Party Aperitivo: Celebrating Italian Cocktail Culture, was held to introduce the social moment of “aperitivo,” a typical custom of Italian living and culture. As always, it has been greatly appreciated by all... everybody loves the opportunity to experience firsthand the latest trends in cocktail making (and drinking).
     

    The Italian experience was completed by a vast array of sports cars, new and vintage, and of boats. Ferrari owners, coming from all parts of North America, gathered in Saratoga Springs and participated in high speed tours of the breathtaking Adirondacks.

    Marcia J. White, president and executive director of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center- SPAC said to be “extremely happy to have welcomed once again the Italian Trade Commission. Their participation has elevated the quality level of the Saratoga Festival.”
     

    “The American public continuously shows its appreciation for the quality and variety of Italian products. This confirms our leadership on the American market,” Aniello Musella, director of the Italian Trade Commission said, “The credit of the positive response that we always get goes to the producers and to the high quality level of their products. But let's not forget our importers, distributors and retailers, as they all work hard, on a daily basis, for the success of Italian products abroad.”
     

    Indeed, According to 2011 U.S. Department of Commerce data and additional information from the Italian Trade Commission - New York Office, in 2010:

    Italy exported US$ 3.183 billion worth of food and wine products to the U.S.

    Italian food and wine exports to the U.S. grew by 2.35% from 2009.

    Italy ranked 6th in exports to the U.S. food and wine market.

    Italian food and wine products continue to thrive in the American market because of their reputation for superior taste and quality. Italy is the number 1 exporter to the United States of the following products: wine, mineral water, olive oil, cheese, pasta, and prosciutto. Despite the bad economy quality is still cherished and Italy keeps going strong.