The ever popular Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis/St. Paul returns for its ninth year, with eight contemporary Italian movies and a celebration of director Sergio Leone, with a screening of his masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West. From Thursday, February 16 through Sunday, February 19, we'll be bringing the Twin Cities blockbuster comedies, searing dramas, and thought provoking and touching films that explore the vast complexities of Italy and its people.

We open with our Opening Night Party and Live Auction at the beautiful Minneapolis Event Center (212 2nd St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414), right around the corner from the St. Anthony Main Theater. Guests are invited to enjoy complimentary appetizers and drinks while bidding on unique items at our annual live auction, hosted by WCCO-TV news anchor Frank Vascellaro. All proceeds from this event benefit the Italian Cultural Center.

All films will be screened at The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul's Screen Three at the St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis (115 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414). All movies are shown in Italian with English subtitles, with the exception of Once Upon a Time in the West (dubbed in English). Most movies will be followed by a short discussion.




  

Come and celebrate with us. Vi aspettiamo!   

 Check out the program below.

                                                           


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O P E N I N G  N I G H T  P A R T Y

 Thursday, February 16 at 6:00 pm at the Minneapolis Event Center . READ MORE HERE

T H U R S D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 6 -  8 : 3 0  P M


Quo vado? (Where Am I Going?)


Comedy, 2016, 86 min
Director: Gennaro Nunziante

Checco Zalone (played by Checco Zalone!) is a humble civil servant, grateful for having achieved posto fisso--a permanent, guaranteed job in government. But to his utter dismay, a new reformist politician is voted in, and she vows to eliminate Checco's prized position!

When buying him out proves impossible, the new government official, Mrs. Sironi (Sonia Bergamasco), decides to place Checco into the most hellish jobs imaginable, in the hopes of forcing him to accept retirement. From the heat of South Africa to the frigid wastelands of the Arctic, is there anything that will wear down the resilient Checco?

Starring Checco Zalone, one of Italy's most beloved and versatile entertainers, Quo vado? is a critically acclaimed and hilarious comedy that has broken box office records, surprising everyone by becoming the highest grossing film in Italian history. Purchase tickets early, as this one is bound to sell out.

"A phenomenon in the history of the Italian box office!" --La Stampa

Cast: Checco Zalone, Eleonora Giovanardi, Sonia Bergamasco.

WINNER 
Best Producer (Pietro Valsecchi)--Nastro d’Argento Awards (2016)


Sponsors:  Joan and Rick Naymark

                                                     



F R I D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 7 -  7 : 0 0  P M

Sei Mai Stata Sulla Luna? (Ever Been to the Moon?)

When Guia, top editor of a Milanese fashion magazine, inherits a run down family farmhouse, she doesn't realize that she's about to fall into a carnival of small-town life. From an avant-garde butcher to a Latin scholar, Celestina the cow and Renzo, a widower who lives on the farm, Guia starts to realize that her high-flying life isn't all it's cracked up to be. And when true love rears its head, what is Guia to do but head straight for the moon?

Sponsors: Christine Imbra

                                                     



F R I D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 7 -  9 : 3 0  P M

Non essere cattivo (Don't Be Bad)

Drama/Crime, 2015, 100 min
Director: Claudio Caligari

Italy’s official selection for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is a searing crime drama, and the last movie from acclaimed director Claudio Caligari, who died shortly after filming. 

In mid-90s Ostia, a seaside Roman suburb, best friends Vittorio and Cesare are small time drug users and dealers, harmless losers seeking some form of redemption. When Vittorio falls for Linda, he tries to take the straight-and-narrow path, but his loyalty to his best friend interferes, and Cesare's ambitions may take them in a totally different, and dangerous, direction.

A hard-hitting and surprisingly emotional crime film, Non essere cattivo is a an excursion into the darkness of the human soul and features stunning performances by its two male leads.

Cast: Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Roberta Mattei, Silvia D’Amico, Alessandro Bernardini

OFFICIAL ITALIAN SUBMISSION FOR THE 2015 ACADEMY AWARDS

WINNER 
Pasinetti Award for Best Film--72nd Venice International Film Festival
Pasinetti Award for Best Actor (Luca Marinelli)--72nd Venice International Film Festival
Best Cinematography and Best Sound--2016 Nastro d'Argento Awards
Best Sound--2016 David di Donatello Awards


                                                     


 

S A T U R D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 8  -  1 : 3 0  P M

Quo vado? (Where Am I Going?)


FIRST SHOW WILL SELL OUT -- SECOND SCREENING ADDED!

Comedy, 2016, 86 min
Director: Gennaro Nunziante

Checco Zalone (played by Checco Zalone!) is a humble civil servant, grateful for having achieved posto fisso--a permanent, guaranteed job in government. But to his utter dismay, a new reformist politician is voted in, and she vows to eliminate Checco's prized position!

When buying him out proves impossible, the new government official, Mrs. Sironi (Sonia Bergamasco), decides to place Checco into the most hellish jobs imaginable, in the hopes of forcing him to accept retirement. From the heat of South Africa to the frigid wastelands of the Arctic, is there anything that will wear down the resilient Checco?

Starring Checco Zalone, one of Italy's most beloved and versatile entertainers, Quo vado? is a critically acclaimed and hilarious comedy that has broken box office records, surprising everyone by becoming the highest grossing film in Italian history. Purchase tickets early, as this one is bound to sell out.

"A phenomenon in the history of the Italian box office!" --La Stampa

Cast: Checco Zalone, Eleonora Giovanardi, Sonia Bergamasco.

WINNER 
Best Producer (Pietro Valsecchi)--Nastro d’Argento Awards (2016)


Sponsors:  Joan and Rick Naymark

                                                     



S A T U R D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 8  -  4 : 3 0  P M

Veloce come il vento (Italian Race)

Drama, 2016, 118 min
Director: Matteo Rovere


Set in Imola, Bologna, and based on the true story of racer Carlo Capone, director Matteo Rovere’s exciting film plunges the viewer into the world of Gran Tursimo racing.  

Giulia De Martino (newcomer Matilda De Angelis) is a 17-year-old race prodigy, and the pride of her racing father. But when he dies suddenly, underage Giulia is not legally allowed to look after her younger brother, and her father's debts threaten to destroy her career and leave her homeless.

Enter older brother Loris (Stefano Accorsi), once a premiere racer whose addictions have left him reeling. Old enough to satisfy Italian social workers (who want an adult caring for both underage kids), he reluctantly helps train Giulia, who must win the GT championship or lose the family home. Failing a victory, Loris will have to race himself, in the dangerous Italian Race, a legendary rural street race with few rules.

Based on a true story, Italian Race was filmed live on actual racetracks and without any special effects. The result is a thrilling and touching movie about determination, family love, and loyalty.

CAST: Stefano Accorsi, Tatiana Luter, Matilda De Angelis, Rinat Khismatouline, Paolo Graziosi, Roberta Mattei, Lorenzo Gioielli

WINNER 
Best Actor (Stefano Accorsi)--2016 Nastro D’Argento Awards
Best Editing--2016 Nastro D’Argento Awards

Sponsor: Bill Gambucci

                                                     



S A T U R D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 8 -  7 : 0 0  P M

Gli ultimi saranno ultimi (The Last Will Be the Last)

Comedy/Drama, 2015, 103 min
Director: Massimiliano Bruno


One of Italy's leading comic actresses, Paola Cortellesi, takes a dramatic turn with brilliant success in Massimiliano Bruno’s wicked comedy about a woman trying desperately to keep her family together in the face of economic hardship. 

Luciana, a factory worker married to the down-on-his-luck Stefano (Alessandro Gassman) sees herself as essentially happy. Despite the utter banality of her job, she is well liked at work, surrounded by good friends, a loving husband, and, after years of trying, is pregnant with a baby. Things look great, if not financially strained.  

But the joy of impending motherhood lasts only a few months, as the factory refuses to renew her contract due to her pregnancy. The loss of her job, and the lack of steady income, puts an enormous strain on Luciana and Stefano, whose money losing schemes suddenly seem less charming than they did before. Begging for help but with no one to heed her cries, Luciana takes matters into her own hands, with tragic results.

"[Cortellesi is] Italy’s finest comic actress, but here she shows that she can truly hold her own in a dramatic role." --ILoveItalianMovies.com

CAST: Paola Cortellesi, Alessandro Gassman, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Giorgio Caputo, Emanuela Fanelli, Stefano Fresi, Ilaria Spada, Federico Torre

NOMINATED
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Fabrizio Bentivoglio)--2016 David di Donatello Awards
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Fabrizio Bentivoglio)--2016 Nastro D’Argento Awards
Sponsor: 


Sponsors:  James and Denise D'Aurora


                                                     



S A T U R D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 8  -  9 : 3 0  P M

Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They Call Me Jeeg Robot)

Action/Comedy, 2015, 112 min
Director: Gabriele Mainetti

A box office sensation, They Call Me Jeeg Robot is Italy's answer to the superhero film, and a stunning examination of crime and morality. Enzo Ceccotti (Claudio Santamaria) is a petty thief trying to eke out a living in Tor Bella Monaca, a Roman slum. Escaping from gang enforcers, he jumps into the Tiber and falls into a barrel of radioactive waste. Barely surviving, he emerges days later with superhuman strength and the ability to heal from any wounds.  

Despite this, nothing goes right for our hero, who sees the father of a mentally ill neighbor get killed in a botched drug deal. The young woman, believing him to be Japanese manga hero Steel Jeeg, urges him to do good, and forces Enzo to confront his indifference to the world. Soon, our Jeeg Robot is being hailed as a hero, and facing a violent confrontation with the psychotic gangster known as "The Gipsy".

"Thoroughly enjoyable, surprisingly plangent and gritty!" --Variety

CAST: Claudio Santamaria, Luca Marinelli, Ilenia Pastorelli, Stefano Ambrogi, Maurizio Tesei, Francesco Formichetti, Daniele Trombetti, Antonia Truppo, Gianluca Di Gennaro, Salvatore Esposito

WINNER
Best New Director (Gabriele Mainetti)--2015 David di Donatello Awards
Best Producer (Gabriele Mainetti)--2015 David di Donatello Awards
Best Actress (Ilenia Pastorelli)--2015 David di Donatello Awards
Best Actor (Claudio Santamaria)--2015 David di Donatello Awards
Best Supporting Actress (Antonia Truppo)--2015 David di Donatello AwardsBest Supporting Actor (Luca Marinelli)--2015 David di Donatello AwardsBest Editing--2015 David di Donatello Awards
Best New Director--2015 Bari International Film Festival
Best New Director--2015 Nastri d'Argento
Best Supporting Actor--2015 Nastri d'Argento
Best Film--56th Italian Golden Globes
Toronto Film Critic's Association Award
Best Directoral Debut--73rd Venice International Film Festival
Best Actor--73rd Venice International Film Festival

NOMINATED for over twenty international awards

Sponsors: Luisa O'Gara


                                                     




S U N D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 9  -  1 : 0 0  P M

C'era una volta il West (Once Upon a Time in the West)

Drama/Western, 1968, 175 min
Director: Sergio Leone

This year, the Italian Film Festival celebrates one of Italy's greatest directors: Sergio Leone. And how better to do this than with his epic masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West.  

Waiting for his bride to arrive from New Orleans, a landowner is gunned down by thugs hired by a railroad baron who is hungry for the man's land. The new bride, Jill (a radiant Claudia Cardinale), isn't one to shrink from a fight, and seeks revenge on the hired killer Frank (Henry Fonda). But what about Harmonica (Charles Bronson), who also wants Frank killed? And then there's Cheyenne (Jason Robards), a bandit whom Frank framed for murder, who has own designs on revenge...

The complex story was conceived not just by Sergio Leone, but with input from famed directors Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento. Not simply Leone's masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West has been called one of the greatest films ever made, and selected for preservation as "culturally significant by the Library of Congress.


"One of 100 Greatest Films of All Time" --Time

CAST: Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Gabriele Ferzetti, Paolo Stoppa, Woody Strode.


Sponsors: Anna Olivero


                                                     


                                                                                            

S U N D A Y ,  F E B R U A R  1 9 -  5 : 0 0  P M

Loro di Napoli

Director: Piero Li Donni

This beautiful documentary explores the difficulties of immigrants in Italy even in something as innocent as football.

Afro-Naples United is one of the most successful amateur soccer teams in Italy. Playing in the northern suburbs of Naples, they are made up of Neopolitans, second generation Italians, and migrants from Africa and South America. But when the founder of Afro-Naples wants his incredibly successful team to compete in the semi-professional league organized by the Italian Soccer Federation, he runs headlong into bureaucracy, myriad laws, and outright racism. 

AWARDS

2016: CG ENTERTEIMENT Prize for Best Italian Film (Festival dei Popoli, Firenze)
2016: Téléram Prize for Best Foreign Documentary (Festival International  du programmes Audiovisuels - FIPA  Biarritz )

Sponsor:  Roberto Francesco Cicero

                                                     



S U N D A Y ,  F E B R U A R Y  1 9 -  7 : 0 0  P M

La pazza gioia (Like Crazy)

Comedy/Drama, 2106, 118 min
Director: Paolo Virzì

From acclaimed director Paolo Virzì comes this intense comedy about two very different women who escape a mental institution and hit the road in search of redemption.

Beatrice (the great Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) is a wealthy, rebellious, and outrageous personality, committed by her family to an institution. Donatella (Micaela Ramazzotti) has survived a suicide that almost also took the life of her child and is barely able to hold a conversation. Seeking out a new friend, Beatrice hauls Donatella on an daring escape, seeking to reunite the fragile woman with her child, now adopted to more stable parents.


With rich cinematography that casts this unpredictable story in warm Tuscan sun, Like Crazy will make you laugh, it will bring tears to your eyes, and all the while will make you question society's notion of sanity and healing.

"[Director Virzì] delivers a finale of such genuine emotional beauty that even tear-resistant audiences will find their cheeks damp." --Variety

CAST: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Micaela Ramazzotti, Valentina Carnelutti, Tommaso Ragno, Bob Messini, Sergio Albelli, Anna Galiena, Marisa Borini

WINNER
Best Director (Paolo Virzì)--2016 Nastri d'Argento
Best Actress (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Micaela Ramazzotti)--2016 Nastri d'Argento
Best Script--2016 Nastri d'Argento
Best Costumes--2016 Nastri d'Argento
Best Score--2016 Nastri d'Argento

NOMINATED
Best Producer, Best Supporting Actress (Valentina Carnelutti), Best Editing, Best Scenography--2016 Nastri d'Argento


Sponsors: Nancy Schaefer, Honorary ICC Board Member


                                                     




A huge thank you to all our sponsors!

Emerald





P
latinum




Gold


Andrea & Vittorio Raimondi



 

Silver

Nancy Azzam
 
Brian & Jesse Fanciulli

Nassim and Federico Rossi 

sponsorship is in honor of Massimo Bonavita

Dominic Sposeto and Kitty Schneider


 
 
 
 

Bronze

Joe Pingatore

 

Community Partner

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
 528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | (612) 295-4111 

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