“We’re excited that Open Roads is returning with such a wide range of films and talent coming out of Italy today,” said Isa Cucinotta, co-programmer, with Dennis Lim, of the 2015 edition of Open Roads. “From genre films to experimental works, returning masters to new voices, the scope and talent on display is unprecedented. Ermanno Olmi and Mario Martone present gorgeous period films, while newcomers Duccio Chiarini and Roan Johnson’s hilarious comedies explore the tribulations of young adults. For families, there is The Invisible Boy, the newest superhero to arrive on screen!”
Now in its fourteenth year, the festival is organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Istituto Luce Cinecittà in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of New York and with the support of Antonio Monda, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, the Italian Trade Commission, Kim R. Brizzolara and The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation.
“This year’s program strikes a satisfying balance,” Isa Cucinotta continued, “between emerging talents and esteemed veterans—as well as (at least) one master: Ermanno Olmi, among the nation’s leading lights for over half a century. As always, the series includes both commercial and independent fare, ranging from stage adaptations to biopics, warm human comedies to experimental dramas.”
“This year is remarkable not only for the variety of genres,” said Antonio Monda, “but also for its diverse settings, in both time and space, and stories.” Monda has been crucial to the creation and development of the festival over the years. The various “stories” include the haunting World War I meditation Greenery Will Bloom Again, by 83-year-old master Ermanno Olmi; The Invisible Boy, a sci-fi comic adventure about a young teen with supernatural powers, by veteran director and Oscar winner Gabriele Salvatores; Sabina Guzzanti’s The State-Mafia Pact, a hilarious political-documentary hybrid starring the director herself in the role of Silvio Berlusconi.
This year’s edition of Open Roads has a bevy of films by female directors, a first in the history of the festival. Opening night kicks off with Latin Lover by Cristina Comencini, followed by An Italian Name by Francesca Archibugi, N-Capace by newcomer Eleonora Danco, and the aforementioned The State-Mafia Pact. “We tried to really focus on female creativity in Italian cinema,” explained Monda. “It is time that female directors are given their due. And we are happy to say that the Italian film industry is expanding to make room for these amazing directors.”
Among the films of note are 9x10 Novanta, nine short films made by 10 young Italian filmmakers (Marco Bonfanti, Claudio Giovannesi, Alina Marazzi, Pietro Marcello, Sara Fgaier, Giovanni Piperno, Costanza Quatriglio, Paola Randi, Alice Rohrwacher & Roland Sejko) in honor of the Istituto Luce’s 90th anniversary. Many of the filmmakers, including Francesca Archibugi, Duccio Chiarini, Cristina Comencini, Roan Johnson, Mario Martone, MASBEDO, Ivano De Matteo, Lamberto Sanfelice and Gabriele Salvatores, will appear in person to speak to audiences about their films.
Along with the screenings, the program features a photo exhibit to be held at the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery. Looking with Michelangelo Antonioni is an exhibition of Renato Zacchi’s
rare photographs of Antonioni taken during the shoot of one of his final documentaries, Sicily (1997).