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Wednesday, October 4, 2017


San Diego Italian Film Festival’s feStivale 2017 Celebrates Eleven Years of Bringing Italian Film and Culture to San Diego, Adds Two Indie Films

The San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF) showcases the best of new Italian film and culture at its 11th annual feStivale, October 4–15, 2017.

The popular festival kicks off with a whirlwind of Italian cinema follows from October 4 to 15, with romantic comedies, independent films, dramas, documentaries, and more. The SDIFF annual Gala is Friday, October 7, at the Museum of Photographic Art, with a special culinary spotlight on Naples paired with the romantic comedy Troppo Napoletano.

For the first time, SDIFF will feature two independent films, “My Country” and “Tiramisu For Two.” The directors of the films will be onsite for panel discussions following the screenings (see details below).

“It’s never been a better time to become part of the celebration of life and culture that is our feStivale,” says SDIFF president Victor Laruccia. “Every year our feStivale proves once again that San Diego Italian Film Festival is about more than just movies. It is about history, identity, and a shared appreciation of great Italian cinema and culture, for a diverse audience of film lovers and those who appreciate Italian culture. This year we’re especially proud to add tow independent films to our lineup, and hope to do more to support indie films in the future.”

feStivale 2017 Schedule:

Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea)
October 4, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
An Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature and the first nonfiction film to ever win the top prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, Fuocoammare takes place in Lampedusa, a remote Mediterranean island that has become a major entry point for refugees into Europe. Here we meet Samuele, a 12-year-old boy from a local fishing family, and Dr. Bartolo, who treats the migrants upon their arrival. Nearby, we bear witness as thousands of men, women, and children risk their lives to make the brutal crossing from Africa. Filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi masterfully juxtaposes these realities, jolting the audience into a new understanding of what is happening in the region, the heavy toll of the migrant crisis, and the price of freedom.

La pazza gioia (Crazy Joy)
October 5, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
Beatrice is a motor-mouthed fantasist, a self-styled billionaire countess who likes to believe she's on intimate terms with world leaders. Donatella is a tattooed introvert, a fragile young woman locked in her own misery. Both are patients at the Villa Biondi, a progressive psychiatric clinic full of eccentric characters. Paolo Virzì’s new film tells the story of the unpredictable and moving friendship between the two women as they flee the mental institution in search of love and happiness in the open-air nuthouse—the world of so-called sane people.

Era d’estate (It Was Summer)
October 6, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
In the summer of 1985, anti-Mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, along with their families, are transferred to a safe house on Asinara, a small island north of Sardinia. The two judges are leading the work for the famous Maxi-Trial that will prosecute more than 400 Mafia members. Sparkling seas and a gorgeous landscape fit for a relaxing holiday are in sharp contrast with the constant threats to their lives from the Mafia and sabotage of their mission from within the Italian government. Based on actual events, this is the story of a friendship grounded in a mutual commitment to truth and justice —whatever the cost.
A Q&A with the director follows after the film.

feStivale 2017 Gala and film screening:
Troppo napoletano (So Neapolitan)
October 7, 2017, 05:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
$75 per person (Must attend Gala to view the film)
When Deborah's ex-husband, a popular neomelodic singer, loses his life in a stage dive, Deborah worries for her eleven-year-old son, Ciro, who is exhibiting signs of depression. Searching for a solution, Deborah takes Ciro to see Tommaso, a shy child psychologist. During the course of their visits, Ciro confesses that it's not his father’s death that has got him down; it’s his love for his classmate, the beautiful Ludovica. The two make a deal: Tomasso will help Ciro to win the affections of Ludovica, while Ciro gives Tomasso a hand at having a chance with his mother...

Veloce come il vento (As Fast as the Wind)
October 8, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
After her father dies, responsibility for a younger brother and the family’s debt-plagued auto-racing business falls on the shoulders of 17-year-old Giulia. An aspiring Gran Turismo racer, Giulia reaches out to her older brother, a once-great driver now mired in drug addiction. Based on a true story, Veloce come il vento is an inspiring sports drama with both well-drawn characters and exciting action.
Stay after the film for a panel discussion.

My Country (independent film)
October 9, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
Two brothers who’ve never met—one American, one Italian—take a road trip from Rome to the picturesque but mostly unknown region of Molise on a journey to spread the ashes of their late father in the small paese where he was born. After much soul-searching, Lucky decides he’ll travel to Rome to find Francesco, now in his mid-30s, and convince him to take their father's urn on a road-trip to Castel San Vincenzo .
Stay after the film for a panel discussion with the director, Giancarlo Iannotta.

Tiramisu for Two (independent film)
October 10, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
“The first Texan-Italian Cult Classic!”
Giorgio has gone to Texas to finally find the woman he loves, someone he had met in Italy more than 30 years ago named Hope, but the infamous Valentino, a phony Italian chef, decides to complicate Giorgio’s plans and drag him into the wildest ride of his life. Just when everything seems doomed, TJ, a mediocre Italian student, comes to Giorgio’s rescue by helping him translate his story. Tiramisu for Two is a dark comedy in Italian and English about the connections and disconnections we establish in this very complex and yet silly world we live in.
Stay after the film for a panel discussion with Sergio Carvajal-Leoni, director, and Romina Olson, co-writer & cinematographer.

Femminismo! (Feminism!)
October 11, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
Director Paola Columba combines a broad range of interviews with activists, politicians, artists, and students, with fragments of fiction and documentary to reconstruct the history of the feminist movement in Italy from the battles of the 1970s to the YouTube generation. The question of what the current generation of young women know about the battles their mothers and grandmothers fought drives her inquiry as she examines the contemporary drift of feminism.
Stay after the film for a panel discussion.

Loro chi? (Them Who?)
October 12, 2017, 07:00 PM
La Paloma Theatre, Encinitas
On the eve of an anticipated big career promotion, David, 36, is astonished to find himself the victim of a bombshell con; gone is his job, his home, and girlfriend, and the clever con artist is on the run. David sets out to find the charismatic con artist, but revenge can be very complicated in this brilliant comedy with great actors and irresistible rhythm.

Fiore (Flower)
October 12, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
Stylishly blending social realism with a coming-of-age story, Claudio Giovannesi’s third feature film focuses on a blossoming romance in a juvenile detention center. Daphne is a troubled young girl locked up for committing a robbery. Josh is an inmate confined to the boy’s ward in the neighboring building. Their prohibited interactions flower into a forbidden yet innocent romance that provides an escape from the confines of their menial lives.

Indivisibili (Indivisible)
October 13, 2017, 07:30 PM
MoPA (Museum of Photographic Arts), Balboa Park
Identical twins Dasy and Viola appear to have it all: they’re beautiful, and gifted with captivating singing voices. They also happen to be conjoined at the hip, which is shamelessly exploited by their parents and close friends for money in the suburbs of Naples. Their lives turn upside-down when Dasy falls in love and they discover that they can in fact be separated. Balancing the beautiful and the perverse with poise and featuring a beguiling soundtrack by Enzo Avitabile, Edoardo De Angelis’ new feature is a moving, eccentric fable about the pains of growing up.
Stay after the film for a panel discussion.

Leoni (Lions)
October 14, 2017, 07:30 PM
Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park
Charming and spoiled Gualtiero is left bankrupt after squandering his family’s money. Unprepared to face this reality, he hatches a reckless plan to return to his previous lifestyle and must find a way to fund his unconventional idea while keeping the Neapolitan mob at bay.

Loro chi? (Them Who?)
October 15, 2017, 07:30 PM
San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT), Balboa Park

Also for the first time, film enthusiasts can choose between three ticket packages:

“Troppo Italiano” — $200 per person / SDIFF Members $181
The full festival pass, with admission to the Launch Party, all twelve films, and the Gala celebration (value: $254)

“Quasi Italiano” — $100 per person / SDIFF Members $88
Includes admission to all eleven feStivale movies (value: $132)

“Cinquina” — $45 per person / SDIFF Members $40
Includes admission to any five feStivale 2017 movies of your choice (value: $60)

A complete lineup of SDIFF events, dates, venues, tickets, and more details, can be found at

All tickets for individual movies are $12 ($10 SDIFF Members/Students/Military), and can be purchased at the door or online at

About the San Diego Italian Film Festival
Now celebrating its eleventh season, the San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF), a not-for-profit 501c(3) organization, has made its mark on the local landscape, becoming among the most beloved film festivals San Diego has to offer. Each year it brings the passion, love, comedy, despair, and hope of the best of Italian film to San Diego, affording audiences the opportunity to learn about Italian film from scholars and directors who continue to influence filmmaking throughout the world.

The San Diego Italian Film Festival is about more than just movies—it is about identity, history, and a shared appreciation of Italian culture and great cinema. In a word, it is about community, a place for a diverse audience of film lovers and those who appreciate Italian culture. Movies or events such as CineCucina or Dine on the Docks are presented year-round, celebrating Italian film and cuisine.

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