The Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) unveiled its 2015 program yesterday at The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Toronto. The annual festival celebrates the best in contemporary Italian cinema from around the world. ICFF runs from June 11-19, 2015 in Toronto, Vaughan, Mississauga, Hamilton, Montreal and Quebec City.
“The ICFF slate is a diverse collection of new and returning voices all linked by Italian culture,” says Artistic Director Cristiano de Florentiis. “This year’s films take a creative and multicultural approach to current events and contemporary issues. We’re also excited to shine a spotlight on features and shorts by Italian Canadian filmmakers.”
The festival opens with a gala at Roy Thomson Hall and closes with a celebration at The Ritz-Carlton hotel. ICFF’s opening film is the international premiere of the drama L’Oriana, starring Vittoria Puccini as famed journalist Oriana Fallaci. At 17, Fallaci risked her life as part of the anti-fascist resistance movement Giustizia e Libertà and continued to raise controversy by fighting Islamic extremism into her 70s.
The festival closes with the comedy Sei mai stata sulla luna? by Paolo Genovese on June 19 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox at 7:30 p.m. Italy’s Sabrina Impacciatore (The Passion of the Christ, The Last Kiss) will present the film.
ICFF 2015 includes more than 19 premieres, a pre-festival retrospective of Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi, co-presented with TIFF and in collaboration with the U of T, as well as the children’s festival, ICFF Junior, which is presenting the Canadian premiere of the Italian-Canadian co-production Midnight Sun (Il mio amico Nanuk), starring Dakota Goyo and Bridget Moynahan and directed by Roger Spottiswoode and Brando Quilici. All foreign language films are subtitled.
The festival lineup can be found below:
The Invisible Boy (Il ragazzo invisible) directed by Gabriele Salvatores – This Oscar-winning director tells the story of Michele, a 13 year-old boy who lives in a quiet seaside town. Nobody can say he was popular in school or a brilliant student. However, one day the monotony of his normal life is shattered by an extraordinary discovery: Michele looks in the mirror and finds that he is invisible.
L’Amore non perdona directed by Stefano Consiglio – A woman in her late 50s falls in love with a much younger Moroccan man. Will their love overcome the strong social ostracism that surrounds societal prejudices? Score by Oscar-winning composer Nicola Piovani.
L’Oriana directed by Marco Turco – Starring Vittoria Puccini as Italian journalist and author Oriana Fallaci, who risked her life by joining the anti-fascist resistance group Giustizia e Libertà and continued fighting intolerance using the written word past the age of 70. The film shares her thoughts as a frontline reporter and her disappointment in not having a child.
Leopardi (Il giovane favoloso) directed by Mario Martone – The story of Giacomo Leopardi, the great 19th century Italian poet and philosopher who journeys to Rome and Florence to widen his views and enrich his knowledge against his parents’ wishes.
The Chair of Happiness (La sedia della felicità) directed by Carlo Mazzacurati – A beautician and a tattoo artist fall in love and embark on an incredible adventure while looking for a valuable treasure hidden in a mysterious upholstered chair. This is the last movie by the director before he passed away last year.
Sei mai stata sulla luna? Directed by Paolo Genovese – Guia, who works for a prestigious fashion magazine and drives a luxurious convertible, falls for Renzo, a farmer (Raoul Bova, male sex symbol of Italian cinema) who will make her see that the only thing she doesn’t have is love.
Barolo Boys: The Story of a Revolution directed by Paolo Casalis – The fascinating story of Barolo wine and how it exploded into an international phenomenon.
Our Host Planet (Il pianeta che ci ospita) directed by Ermanno Olmi – International premiere of the short film made for Expo 2015 in Milan, whose purpose is first and foremost the commitment of rich countries to guarantee food, water and dignity to every human being, according to a principle of justice that maintains our cohabitation on this planet.
Just Say Yes (Lei disse sì) directed by Maria Pecchioli – Two women record the story of their engagement and journey to the altar in Sweden amid issues of Italian prejudices and civil rights in this important documentary. Co-presented with InsideOut.
Italy in a Day (Un giorno da italiani) directed by Gabriele Salvatores – Italians from all over the country were asked to record and submit videos or images captured via smartphone, still cameras and camcorders. The filmmakers’ mission was to record a 24-hour day as the self-portrait of a country through its people.
My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes directed by Oren Jacoby – The story of sports idol Gino Bartali and other courageous Italians who helped to rescue Jews, partisans and refugees from extermination in Nazi-occupied Italy.
Mud and Glory (Fango e gloria) directed by Leonardo Tiberi – A unique combination of documentary and fiction, Mud and Glory presents the story of three friends and their struggles in the Italian First World War.
Perez directed by Edoardo De Angelis – A renowned and incorruptible criminal lawyer from Naples strikes a deal with the head of the Camorra crime family.
The Humbling directed by Barry Levinson – This black comedy is based on the novel of the same name by Philip Roth and follows Simon Axler (Al Pacino), a once successful actor forced to retire because of mental illness. When the daughter of his old acting friend moves in, they develop a dysfunctional relationship that draws the attention of her parents.
Fino a qui tutto bene directed by Roan Johnson – This is the story of the last three days five friends share together before moving on and making choices that will change everything.
The Golden Boy (Un ragazzo d’oro) directed by Pupi Avati – A young copywriter gets to know his late father by working on his autobiography.
The Dinner directed by Ivano De Matteo – A story loosely based on the novel with the same name penned by Dutch writer Herman Koch. Two brothers leading opposite lives are forced to come together when a security camera catches their sons doing the unimaginable.
Scusate se esisto! directed by Riccardo Milani – An accomplished architect returns home and meets Francesco, a gay man who helps and supports her throughout her journey. They learn from each other that to be yourself sometimes it is best to pretend to be someone else.
I Can Quit Whenever I Want (Smetto quando voglio) directed by Sidney Sibilia – A laid-off university researcher earns a living by designing and producing “non-illegal” street drugs.
Noi e la Giulia directed by Edoardo Leo – Three young people try to turn their lives around by starting an agritourism business. They flounder and force the local mobster (trapped in their basement) to turn their holiday farmhouse into a success.
Leoni directed by Pietro Parolin – After Gualtiero goes bankrupt, he returns home to Veneto, where he is forced to deal with a host of troublesome characters.
Andiamo a quel paese directed by Salavatore Ficarra and Valentine Picone – Two unemployed friends (starring the comedy duo Ficarra & Picone) leave the big city and discover how to turn a profit from seniors’ pensions.
The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship directed by Sergio Navarretta – Cat makes a final attempt to reignite the flame with her husband Freddy by going on a romantic trip to wine country. Nothing prepares her for what happens when she finds out that Richard – Freddy’s charming boss – is joining them.
No Deposit directed by Frank D’Angelo – A family man begins a downward spiral that leads him to a series of hate crimes. The famous showman, singer and director returns after The Real Gangsters and The Big Fat Stone.
Piazza Petawawa: The Paradox directed by Rino Noto – This WW2 documentary, which is part of Operation Remembrance, highlights the unjust targeting of thousands of Italian-Canadians as “enemy aliens” and their internment, a fact that still taints the history of Canada.
Duse and Me directed by Antonio D’Alfonso – A foreign actress in Italy explains her artistic mission.
Word to Remember directed by Marco Veltri – A poetic work that examines the heart-wrenching pearls of wisdom that can be passed down to us if our future selves could share their reflections and regrets with us at the present moment.
Please visit the ICFF website for the ICFF Jurnior lineup, ticket information, and showtimes.