The NM Italian film & culture Festival announces its most dynamic program ever - 2014 film line-up - opening gala - program features

Dec 09, 2013 1367

The NM Italian Film & Culture Festival, produced by the nonprofit Italian Festivals of New Mexico for the primary benefit of the UNM Children's Hospital today announced its film selections for the 2014 eight day run of the popular festival.

Io Sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet) a 2011 winner at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, is the festival's showcase film, to be screened both in Albuquerque and Santa Fe on February 9.

Other films are: Terraferma, Solo Un Padre (Just a Father), Giorni e Nuvole (Days and Clouds), 20 Sigarette (20 Cigarettes), Immaturi (Immature), Matrimoni e Altri Disastri, (Marriage and Other Disasters), EX Tanti Baci Dopo (Many Kisses Later) and the 2012 film Melina, con Rabbia e con Sapere (Melina, with Anger and Knowledge) which will also be screened in area high schools by its writer and director, Demetrio Casile, followed by a conversation with the director, as part of the festival's community/student outreach program.

The 2014 NM Italian Film & Culture Festival returns for its 7th year from Saturday February 8 to Sunday February 16, screening a diverse slate of award-winning and highly acclaimed contemporary Italian films and music videos. Under the new management of a committee of the nonprofit Italian Festivals of New Mexico, the festival has undergone a make-over that includes new events and features to bring it on a par with some of the more notable Italian film festivals across the nation.

Opening day, February 8, has been proclaimed by Mayor Richard Berry as "Italian Film and Culture Day" in Albuquerque.

The 2014 Festival will open with a gala musical performance on February 8 at the historic KiMo Theater, built by Italian, Oreste Bachechi, in 1927. The concert entitled "Musical Traditions of Italy – Live and on Film!," is sponsored by Fiat of Albuquerque and headlined by Roger Melone and the NM Symphonic Chorus in a presentation of Italian opera choruses. It also features Keshet Dance Company and a stunning musical video greeting sent to the festival from the foremost Italian men's chorus, the Coro Illersberg di Trieste.

The concert will be followed by a gala reception at the Hotel Andaluz, sponsored by the Hotel Andaluz, with music provided by the Eleganza String Quartet. The reception will honor Guest Director-in-Residence, Demetrio Casile, and will feature a special video show of his art and sculpture.

Casile, whose appearance during the festival is sponsored by Saggio's and Fastino's restaurants, will travel from his home in Bologna to conduct his signature community outreach project in local high schools – a project that has been a sensation throughout Italy and Europe. He'll screen his recent film, a charming "message-film" for young people, and hold spirited talks with students about staying in school and overcoming the obstacles to their dreams.

Another festival highlight will be the photography of Donatella Davanzo, official government photographer of the city of Trieste, Italy. Davanzo is an internationally recognized and exhibited photographic artist who will be the festival's official photographer and whose two stunning exhibitions focusing on Venice have been set to music on film to be shown several times throughout the festival.

The festival's closing weekend will include a first-ever (for both the festival and the Albuquerque Convention Center) indoor bocce tournament as well as Il Gran Finale, signature closing event, consisting of a film at the Guild Cinema and an intermezzo pranzo hosted by Scalo Northern Italian Grill.

"We've dedicated the past year to putting together a program with broad appeal – to movie lovers, music and art lovers, foodies and italophyles. There's something for everyone. And, it's a program that truly showcases some of the most celebrated elements of Italian culture and our Italian heritage, says the festival's Managing Director.

Tickets and passes are currently on sale through the website at www.italianfilmfest.org.

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