Italy On-screen

Opening the curtain on The Italian Film Festival

theitalianculturalcenter.org

theitalianculturalcenter.org

The Twin Cities’ Italian Cultural Center will unveil the seventh annual Italian Film Festival this month featuring nine feature-length films and one short film. The collection of films was chosen thoughtfully, catering to a balance of those who come to experience Italian culture and those who come to enjoy masterful cinema. The selections range from a documentary on the life of a transgender woman, to the story of a segregated combat unit in World War II, to a coming of age story of a young Italian girl.

It may be tempting to simply sit in pajamas and run through these titles on Netflix or by some other potentially illegal means of finding movies online, but these films are worth the trip to the cinema. Most of the films this year will be shown on DCP, a digital format that allows for an incredible degree of quality in both picture and sound. For movies like The Art of Happiness, which was gorgeously animated with a carefully tailored soundtrack, the experience will be worlds above the offerings of a laptop screen.

The films vary in medium, from a beautifully drawn animated feature to films created digitally or on old school 35-millimeter film. The most innovative method of filming was used to create Italy in a Day (Un Giorno da Italiani), in which 40,000 Italians took footage of their lives on Oct. 26, 2013, on whatever they had to record with. The resulting images were edited down into a 72-minute film. This uniquely formatted movie is indicative of the transition in the industry from film to digital. The digital medium removes obstacles that typically prevent the average person from participating in the creation of media.

It may be tempting to simply sit in pajamas and run through these titles on Netflix or by some other potentially illegal means of finding movies online, but these films are worth the trip to the cinema.

The lineup reflects a recent boom in the creation of documentaries in Italy through three films in the genre. One of the documentaries, Inside Buffalo, will be free to view for the public. The movie follows a combat unit that fought in Italy in World War II. The director, Fred Kudjo Kuwornu, will be in attendance and is slotted to discuss the film afterward. Kuwornu will also hold two other free events that week, unrelated to the film festival, on the University of Minnesota campus. He will be presenting his films Blaxpoitalian, a documentary on Italian representation of blackness, and 18 IUS SOLI, which examines multiculturalism and Italy’s immigrant policy.

The festival will run from Feb. 26 to March 1 at St. Anthony Main Theater. Tickets are 10 dollars, or 7 with a student ID card.