The 10th Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis & St. Paul (IFF) returns with nine contemporary films never before seen in Minnesota, as well as Vittorio De Sica’s eye-popping Italian comedy, Il Boom (1963), on a newly restored DCP by Rialto Pictures. From Thursday, February 22 through Sunday, February 25, this year’s festival offers an exciting lineup of documentaries, dramas, and comedies that will take viewers on a spectacular journey through the landscapes and stories of Italy and its people.
Organized by the Italian Cultural Center (ICC), a Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting the best of Italian life, language, and culture to the Twin Cities, the IFF is presented in partnership with the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. All films will screen on the Film Society’s Screen Three at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 SE Main Street, Minneapolis.
This year’s highlights include Fabio Mollo’s Il Padre d’Italia (Father by Chance), a thoughtful drama that follows Paolo (Luca Marinelli), a sceptical, and at times ill-tempered, thirty-year-old who works as a sales clerk in a Turin Department Store, and Mia (Isabella Ragonese), a pregnant backup singer, whose pink hair and flashy style stand out in a crowd. By chance, the two meet at a nightclub and it’s not long before they “borrow” a van from Paolo’s store and make their way from Turin to Rome. After the film, visiting director Mollo will discuss the film with the IFF’s curator, Lorenzo Fabbri.
Dedicated to the ICC’s founder and former president, Massimo Bonavita, the new Building Bridges: Emerging Filmmaker Awards mark another highlight in this year’s festival. Created to make connections between Italy and Minnesota though film by recognizing short works from each place. After screening their work at the IFF, the winners will be present for a post-screening Q&A with the jurors. The awards are made possible by the generous donation of KNOCK, Inc.
Get a sneak peek at the Building Bridges’ contenders at the IFF Winter Party on Thursday, February 8th, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Tek Box in Minneapolis. Enjoy wine, food, and music performed by Talking Strings, a groovy ensemble of guitar, violin, bass, harmonica and mandolin. Additionally, guests will not want to miss the live auction hosted by WCCO-TV news anchor Frank Vascellaro.