Italian Film Festival
The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis / St. Paul, in partnership with MSP Film Society, is thrilled to bring the 12th Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis / St. Paul (IFF) with eleven films never before seen in Minnesota, including four U.S. premieres.
From February 25 through March 4, this year’s all online festival, curated by Artistic Director Tommaso Cammarano, offers an exciting lineup of comedies, dramas and documentaries that will take viewers on a deeply rewarding journey through the landscapes and stories of Italy and its people.
As much as we will miss seeing our audience in person over a glass of “vino”, we are thrilled for the opportunity to reach Minnesotans across the State for the first time. Live film discussions during the festival will surely provide that warm sense of community we look forward to every year.
Check out the detailed list of films, events and discussions below including the Virtual Talk Series on Italian Film History presented by Prof. Federico Pacchioni (Chapman University) and starting on February 13th.
Films will be available at all times between February 26 and March 4 with the exception of the Opening Movie, available only on February 25.
The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis / St. Paul is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the best of Italian life, language and culture since 2006.
|Regular Tickets||Opening Movie|
Cast Your Vote for the 2021 Italian Film Festival Audience Awards! You can Vote for all of the films you've purchased HERE. Voting concludes at the end of the festival.
The Best Years (Gli Anni Più Belli)
Minnesota Premiere | Director: Gabriele Muccino | Fiction | Runtime: 129 min | 2020
Opening Movie, exclusively available on February 25!
Gli Anni Più Belli (The Best Years), a moving and exhilarating portrait of a generation by internationally acclaimed director Gabriele Muccino, tells the story of four friends Giulio, Gemma, Paolo, Riccardo, over a period of forty years, from 1980 to today, from adolescence to adulthood. Their hopes, their disappointments, their successes and failures are the intertwining of a great story of friendship and love set to the everchanging Italian social/political climate.RESERVE NOW
Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Cosa Sarà)
Minnesota Premiere | Director: Francesco Bruni | Fiction | Runtime: 101 min | 2020
Bruno is a middle-aged film director who finds himself at a point of reckoning. His films largely flop, his marriage recently failed, his two children adoring but unable to rely on him. When he discovers he has leukemia, secrets from his father’s past come to light, and lead the family on a journey of revival. Cosa Sarà is a delicate, touching, funny, uplifting film filled with the best brand of Italian sentiment. LIVE FILM DISCUSSION with Francesco Bruni, Director of Cosa Sarà. Sunday, February 28, 1:00 PM CST.RESERVE NOW
From the Depths (Dal Profondo)
U.S. Premiere | Director: Valentina Pedicini | Documentary | Runtime: 72 min | 2013
Patrizia’s life takes place in the dark, 500 meters below sea level. Her entire universe - past, present and future -is contained in just one word: mine. She is Italy’s only female miner and she is about to lead us into her world. From acclaimed late filmmaker Valentina Pedicini, Dal Profondo, filmed completely underground, is a powerful, unique and daring exploration of life inside Italy’s last coal mine. IFF is proud to celebrate late filmmaker Valentina Pedicini and give Minnesota the opportunity to discover her critically acclaimed work. LIVE FILM DISCUSSION with Bastian Esser, Director of Photography of Faith, Jakob Stark, Director of Photography of Dal Profondo. Sunday, February 28, 3:00 PM CST.RESERVE NOW
Minnesota Premiere | Director: Valentina Pedicini | Documentary | Runtime: 93 min | 2019
In the remote hills of the Italian region of Marche, a community of martial arts religious fighters named “Warriors of Light” renounces the world and prepares to save humanity. From acclaimed late filmmaker Valentina Pedicini, Faith offers an immersive, visceral, emotional journey in a mysterious world of sacrifice and doctrine, investigating the profound motivations behind a radical choice. IFF is proud to celebrate late filmmaker Valentina Pedicini and give Minnesota the opportunity to discover her critically acclaimed work. LIVE FILM DISCUSSION with Bastian Esser, Director of Photography of Faith, Jakob Stark, Director of Photography of Dal Profondo. Sunday, February 28, 3:00 PM CST.RESERVE NOW
The Big Step (Il Grande Passo)
Minnesota Premiere | Director: Antonio Padovan | Fiction | Runtime: 96 min | 2019
When he was six years old, Dario Cavalieri watched the live television broadcast of the Moon landing. Ever since then, he has dreamed of going to the Moon. An homage to the wonders of American science-fiction films, Northern Italian landscapes, and the unique poetry of Italian cinema, Il Grande Passo, led by two wonderful actors, Giuseppe Battiston and Stefano Fresi, celebrates dreamers in an unforgettable way. Battiston and Fresi both received the Best Actor award at the Torino Film Festival 2020, where the film premiered.RESERVE NOW
U.S. Premiere | Director: Elisa Fuksas | Documentary | Runtime: 80 min | 2020
Rome, 2020. In the midst of the lockdown, against the backdrop of the Italian capital in a state of suspended animation, Elisa Fuksas (protagonist, screenwriter and director) simultaneously faces a recent diagnosis of cancer and forcible separation from friends and family. She decides to capture her days on her phone, to distract herself and to keep herself going. The result is a surprisingly moving ode to life. The film premiered at the 2020 Venice International International Film Festival, Giornate degli Autori. IFF is honored to host its U.S. premiere. LIVE FILM DISCUSSION with Elisa Fuksas, Director of iSola. Sunday, February 28, 12:00 PM CST.RESERVE NOW
I Hate Summer (Odio L'Estate)
Minnesota Premiere | Director: Massimo Venier | Fiction | Runtime: 105 min | 2020
Odio l’estate reminds us of the golden rules for the ‘perfect’ vacation: never leave without your rubber dinghy, never leave your beloved family dog behind, and -most importantly - never mistakenly book the same summerhouse together with complete strangers. Things could get ugly. Hilarity might ensue! Italy’s beloved, power house comedic trio of Aldo, Giovanni & Giacomo reunites yet again to bewitch us with a tale of love, friendship and feelings for the entire family to enjoy.RESERVE NOW
Una Promessa (Spaccapietre)
U.S. Premiere | Director: Gianluca De Serio, Massimiliano De Serio | Fiction | Runtime: 104 min | 2020
Uncompromising and realistic, Spaccapietre (Una Promessa), a heartbreaking story of fatherly love, denounces societal and human failures in the Southern region of Puglia through the eyes of a young boy, Antò, the only beacon of innocence and hope in an otherwise desperate world of illegally hired and exploited migrant workers. The film premiered at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, Giornate degli Autori, and directors Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio are considered among the most promising new talents of Italian Cinema. IFF is honored to host its U.S. premiere. LIVE FILM DISCUSSION with Gianluca De Serio and Massimiliano De Serio, Directors of Spaccapietre. Sunday, February 28, 4:00 PM CST.RESERVE NOW
U.S. Premiere | Director: Doriana Monaco | Documentary | Runtime: 54 min | 2020
Agalma (Greek for “statue” or “image”) beautifully and poetically captures the daily life of one of the most important archaeological museums in the world: the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, a place perpetually torn between the enchantment of the past and the passions of the present. The film premiered at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, Giornate degli Autori. IFF is honored to host its U.S. premiere. LIVE FILM DISCUSSION with Doriana Monaco, Director ofAgalma, Antonella Di Nocera, Producer of Agalma, Paolo Giulierini, Director of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli and Rachel McGarry, Associate Curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Tuesday, March 2, 12:00 PM CST.RESERVE NOW
The Ties (Lacci)
Minnesota Premiere | Director: Daniele Luchetti | Fiction | Runtime: 100 min | 2020
Naples—early 1980’s. Aldo and Vanda undergo a contentious separation, upon disclosure of psycho-sexual infidelity. The fallout weighs heavily on their two children of a tender age. Conflicted in their allegiances, they are caught in a whirlwind of resentment, and left confused by a series of questionable parenting choices. With the backdrop of two of the most beautiful cities in Italy, a tight screenplay, flawless editing, an outrageously talented cast, and exceptional directing, Lacci is unafraid to reveal the dark side of the Italian family. Lacci was chosen by the 2020 Venice International Film Festival as its opening night film.RESERVE NOW
The Passionate Thief (Risate di Gioia)
Minnesota Premiere - 4K Restoration | Director: Mario Monicelli | Fiction | Runtime: 106 min | 1960
Ten years after his death, IFF celebrates Italy’s maestro of commedia all’Italiana: Mario Monicelli. Anna Magnani and Totò, two of the greatest Italian actors of all time, star in this not to be missed comedic gem. LIVE FILM DISCUSSION with Prof. Federico Pacchioni. Saturday, February 27, 6:00 PM CST.RESERVE NOW
Tommaso Cammarano, Artistic Director Bio
Tommaso studied screenwriting at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome and earned a Master’s in Film at Columbia University. His 2003 short film, The Time We Lost, premiered at The Venice International Film Festival. In 2010, the feature screenplay he co-wrote with Roberto Scarpetti, Braccia Tese (Arms Outstretched), received a Special Mention at Italy's Premio Solinas. In 2013 he served as one of the head writers on Season 8 of Un Medico in Famiglia (A Doctor in the Family), one of Italy’s most renowned and longest-running TV series. He co produced the award-winning short film The Bravest, The Boldest, which premiered at Sundance in 2014. He also co-produced the documentary House in the Fields, which premiered at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival and screened at The Walker Art Center. In Spring 2014, Tommaso came to Minneapolis, fell in love with it and has since made it his home. He has started a new career in Health care… with film on the side.
Tommaso would like to personally thank The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis / St. Paul and Sandra Gengler, its President, IFF’s Film Selection Advisory Committee, and Gaia Furrer, Artistic Director of Giornate degli Autori, Venice International Film Festival.
Viaggio nel Cinema. A Virtual Talk Series on Italian Film History
In anticipation of the upcoming annual Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis / St. Paul, scholar Federico Pacchioni Ph.D. will deliver a series of virtual introductory talks on Italian cinema’s defining trends and genres.
Viaggio nel Cinema I: An Introduction to the Italian Silver Screen
Saturday, February 13, 6:00-6:40pm
What distinguishes Italian cinema from other national cinemas? What are its unique artistic and cultural characteristics? What are its key movements of its evolution? Join Dr. Federico Pacchioni for the first appointment of Viaggio nel Cinema, a series of virtual talks designed to offer a broader historical context around the films and conversations of this year’s Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis / St. Paul. This first introductory talk will provide an overview of defining moments of the history of Italian cinema from its origin to today, intersecting a variety of industrial, political and artistic trends.REGISTER NOW
Viaggio nel Cinema II: Popular Italian Film Genres, the Case of Tragicomedy
Saturday, February 20, 6:00-6:40pm
The second appointment in Dr. Pacchioni’s virtual talks series continues to interrogate the nature of Italy’s national cinema, this time by focusing on the genres that have captured Italian audiences more than others, while drawing much interest abroad: the spaghetti western, the giallo, the horror film, and the commedia all’italiana. Particular attention will be given to the latter, which consists in a unique form of tragicomedy with deep cultural and theatrical roots, a genre that continues to be extremely vital and popular today. While profiling actors, directors and films that have shaped this genre, the presentation will clarify how Italian comedy has evolved during the decades and the reasons behind its continued success in Italy.REGISTER NOW
Viaggio nel Cinema III: Arthouse Film between Fantasy and Realism
Saturday, February 27, 5:00-5:40pm
Concluding Dr. Pacchioni’s virtual series Viaggio nel Cinema, this third talk will focus on the most internationally renowned area of Italian filmic production: auteur art cinema. In addition to outlining the profiles of influential classical directors such as Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Michelangelo Antonioni, the presentation will provide an explanation of Italian art cinema’s double nature, at once poetic and realistic. Finally, Dr. Pacchioni will address how this innovative cinematic legacy continues to find powerful expression in the work of new generations of Italian filmmakers.REGISTER NOW
Dr. Federico Pacchioni is a scholar, writer, and educator. He has taught courses on Italian society, literature and cinema at several institutions of higher education, including Indiana University Bloomington, University of Connecticut, Middlebury College, and Chapman University. Dr. Pacchioni currently lives in Orange, California and lectures widely on Italian cultural history and film. He is the author of more than fifty publications, among which are groundbreaking volumes such as Inspiring Fellini: Literary Collaborations behind the Scenes (University of Toronto Press, 2014), The Image of the Puppet: Essays on Theater, Film and Literature (Metauro Edizioni, 2020), and the coauthor of the newest edition of Peter Bondanella’s A History of Italian Cinema (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017), a mainstay for courses on Italian cinema in the English-speaking world.