The Twin Cities Celebrate 10th Italian Film Festival

Nicole Campisano (February 22, 2018)
Presented at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, Minneapolis and St. Paul are hosting its annual Italian Film Festival. This is the 10-year anniversary of the event that screens modern Italian films and documentaries. The Italian Film Festival is hosted by the Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and is organized by the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Recognizing the joy and artistry of Italian cinema, the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, are having its Italian Film Festival from February 22 until Sunday, February 25!  This will be the 10th anniversary of this cinematic presentation that displays a variety of contemporary Italian films.  In past years, anything ranging from laugh-out-loud comedies, to thought provoking documentaries were shown at the IFF, and this year’s festival promises the same exciting variety that filmgoers are sure to enjoy.

Contemporary Films

Many of the films are premiering for the first time in Minneapolis.  Some showings are, In Guerra per Amore (At War for Love), A Ciambra, and Il Padre d’Italia (Father by Chance).

Pierfrancesco Diliberto, better known as “Pif”, is an Italian television host, writer, and film director.  His film, In Guerra per Amore (At War for Love), is a comedic love story that takes place during the Second World War.  Pif’s film has been praised by critics, and has won several awards, including the David di Donatello Award (2017), and the Best Production Designer award from the Festival del cinema di Spello (2017).

Italy’s Oscar pick, A Ciambra, directed by Jonas Carpignano and executively produced by Martin Scorsese, tells a coming of age story about a young Romani boy living in Calabria.  This drama premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and won the Europa Cinemas Label Award among many other accolades.

Another exciting showing is Fabio Mollo’s Il Padre d’Italia (Father by Chance).  It is not only making its debut in the Twin Cities, but there will also be a post-screening question and answer session with Mollo.  He will be discussing his award-winning film with Lorenzo Fabbri, the festival’s curator. Il Padre d’Italia centers around a dysfunctional friendship between a cantankerous sales associate, and a pregnant backup singer who go on a road trip together.  On the way to their destination, they learn more about themselves than they ever could have imagined.

To read about all of the films, click here>>>

Italian films Past and Present

As they do every year, the IFF will be showing a newly-restored version of an Italian classic.  This year it is Il Boom by Vittorio De Sica. De Sica (1901-1974) is a prolific figure in Italian cinema.  He began his career in film as an actor, and later began directing during World War II.  His dramas, Shoeshine (1946), and Bicycle Thieves (1948) are the face of the Italian Neorealism genre.  De Sica went on to win 4 Academy Awards, and the Grand prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

10th Anniversary Surprises

Celebrating a decade, the Italian Film Festival is adding something new to its program this year, the Building Bridges: Emerging Filmmaker Awards. The purpose of these awards is to create connections between Italy and Minnesota. 

Participants from either Minnesota or Italy submitted short films that embodied the theme, “Places of Memory and Change.”  The IFF explains that they “hope to highlight the links between people and place and to demonstrate the ways that film can bring us together by displaying our similarities, our differences, and our growing need for understanding.” 

Jurors, Koel Banerjee, Tommaso Cammarano, Eric D. Howell, and Bruna Roccasalva chose two winners, and one honorable mention.  The Best Short Italy will be awarded to Niccolò Gentili for his film We Wanted to Make Pictures.  The Best Short Minnesota will go to E.G Bailey for New Neighbors, and the honorable mention will go to Arianna Lodeserto for The Houses we were.  Living in Rome from 1948-2014.

The Italian Cultural Center

The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis and Saint Paul is the organizer of the IFF. This nonprofit organization was founded in 2006 to promote Italian culture through education.  The ICC is open to anyone who takes an interest in, or admires any aspect of the culture, whether it be the music, language, or cinema.

For more information on the Italian Film Festival, please click here >>>

For more information on the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, please click here>>>