University of Pittsburgh
March 17, 2015

National Italian Film Festival to Kick Off at Pitt

Annual festival runs March 26-April 18 in Pittsburgh and offers free screenings, presentations, and national audience competition
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—An Italian film festival that will be held in 11 cities nationwide will kick off at the University of Pittsburgh. Seven contemporary films, presented through Italian Film Festival USA, will premiere at free public screenings between March 26 and April 18.

FromL’Arbitro the story of four generations of women trying to survive on farmland after an economic collapse in Italy to an emigrant returning to his hometown to help a soccer team best their rivals, the films in the festival were chosen to display the range and vitality of contemporary Italian filmmaking.

Lina Insana, organizer of the Pittsburgh segment of the festival and chair of Pitt’s Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures, says that the films will be introduced by Pitt faculty members. In addition, Fabio Troisi, attaché for cultural affairs at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, will officially open the festival at the March 26 screening, and director Paolo Zucca will attend the April 10 screening of his film, L’Arbitro.

Festival attendees will be invited to partake in an audience competition by rating films on a scale of one to five stars. Ballots will be tallied from all screenings on the national tour, and the film with the highest score will receive the Best Film Award. The movies will be shown in their original filming languages with English subtitles when necessary. The screening schedule follows.

The Mafia Kills Only in Summer (La mafia uccide solo d’estate), 7 p.m. March 26, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, 300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie. The story of Arturo’s attempt to win the heart of his beloved Flora plays out during Sicily’s most tragic events from the 1970s to the 1990s. At this screening, Fabio Troisi, director of the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, will officially open the festival.

Remember Me? (Ti ricordi di me?), 7 p.m. March 27, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. Roberto, a kleptomaniac and author of scary fairy tales, and Bea, an elementary school teacher who suffers from narcolepsy and unpredictable memory losses, meet in front of their therapist’s office. A determined and comedic courtship begins between the two.

Gold Will Set You Free (Oro Macht Frei), 8:30 p.m. March 28, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. This film tells the story of the Roman Jewish experience during the Sept. 1943-June 1944 Nazi occupation of Rome. It weaves the testimony of nine Roman Jews together with historical research.

The Referee (L’Arbitro), 7 p.m. April 10, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. A young emigrant, Matzutzi, returns to his hometown to resurrect the worst soccer team in the Sardinian bush league, the Atletico Pabarile, which has been beaten every year by a team from nearby Montecrastu. The story of the two teams alternates with that of Cruciani, a professional referee whose ambitions are to rise to the international level. The film’s director, Paolo Zucca, will attend this screening, and Giuseppina Mecchia, Pitt associate professor of French and Italian and director of graduate studies in French, will introduce the film and conduct a question-and-answer session.

Like The Wind (Come il vento), 7 p.m. April 11, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. The story of Armida Miserere, one of the first women prison wardens, who is called upon during her career to oversee the most dangerous prisons in Italy. She is haunted by the murder of her fiancé and condemned to search for justice and love in the penitentiary system.

Quiet Bliss (In grazia di Dio), 7 p.m. April 17, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. The story of four women in a small town in Salento, at the tip of the heel of Italy, during the economic crisis. The failure of the family business and resulting repossession of their home seem to destroy everything, including family bonds. The only way to survive is for the women to move to the country and farm the land.

Song‘e Napule, 7 p.m. April 18, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. Paco is a refined but unemployed pianist. His mother gets him a job with the police, but his complete ineptitude relegates him to a judiciary warehouse. Then one day, the police commissioner arrives and needs a pianist to infiltrate a band that will perform at the wedding of the daughter of the mafia boss of Somma Vesuviana. Paco must risk his life in the line of duty.

The Italian Film Festival USA is organized by the Italian Film Festival of St. Louis, a nonprofit organization that educates audiences about Italy by promoting films that might not otherwise be shown in the United States.

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