Italian Festivals of New Mexico (IFNM) Rolls Out its 9th Edition of the NM Italian Film & Culture Festival, February 16 – 21 in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill with a Delightful Cinematic Stew of Contemporary Italian Films, Food and Wine, and a Visit From Some Top

Jan 16, 2016 502

The NM Italian Film & Culture Festival: It's a slice of life in The Old Country today, as seen through the eyes of some of the best screenwriters and directors Italy has to offer. It's the annual flagship event of Italian Festivals of New Mexico, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Italian culture and its leading role on the world stage of art, music, fashion, cuisine and more. It's the largest and longest-running celebration of Italian culture in the state. And it's a fundraising event for the University of New Mexico's Children's Hospital. "Over its past eight runs, the festival has raised more than $230,000 for the Hospital," notes IFNM Board Treasurer, Carl Alongi.


Festival 2016 offers a compelling selection of 7 films ranging in genre from comedy to drama to romance - and even a little subtle science fiction thrown in for good measure with La scoperta dell'alba. All films are in Italian with English subtitles. All are critically acclaimed recent-releases making their local premieres. All will be screened at The Guild Cinema (3405 Central Ave NE).


The lineup's two standout films address a couple of Italy's thorniest issues with uncommon, farcical perspective. The Festival's highest award-winning film, La mafia uccide solo d'estate (The Mafia Kills Only in Summer) is a black comedy that takes aim at the Sicilian Mafia with irreverent satire. The Festival's showcase film, Viva la liberta' (Long Live Freedom), sets its sights on Italian politics with a facetious story-line and whimsical comedy.


The lineup is also significant for its inclusion, for the first time, of two films directed by women. Susanna Nicchiarelli (La scoperta dell'alba) and Maria Sole Tognazzi (Viaggio sola) are two of Italy's most talented, up-and-coming woman directors. Starring in both films is Italy's top actress, multi-award-winning Margharita Buy.


Hosted by Scalo Northern Italian Grill (3500 Central SE), the festival's inaugural Kickoff Reception will be particularly special, attended by a delegation from the Los Angeles Italian Consulate, including Consul General Antonio Verde, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Valeria Rumori, and Director of the Italian Trade Agency, Florindo Blandolino. "It's quite an honor for the New Mexico festival to be recognized by these high-level Italian government officials in the US," said John Paolino, IFNM Board President. "This will be a great opportunity for them to experience New Mexico's enthusiasm for Italian culture."


Festival 2016 brings back the popular closing day tradition of a Sunday afternoon film at the Guild Cinema, followed by a short walk across Central Avenue for a sumptuous dinner at Scalo Northern Italian Grill and a sneak peek at the new Fiat 500X Crossover SUV.

For more details on Italian Festivals of New Mexico and for tickets and information on the 2016 Italian Film & Culture Festival www.italianfilmfest.org

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