University of Pittsburgh
March 21, 2016

National Italian Film Festival at Pitt

Annual festival runs April 1-16 in Pittsburgh and offers free screenings and a national audience competition

Katie Fike


PITTSBURGH—Seven contemporary films, presented through Italian Film Festival USA, will be shown at free public screenings at the University of Pittsburgh between April 1 and 16. Pittsburgh is the fourth of 13 cities participating in this festival.

From the story of an anti-Mafia worker trying to help a farm cooperative to a documentary about Italian emigrants searching for better futures, the films in the festival were chosen to display the range and vitality of contemporary Italian filmmaking.Io, Arlecchino

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. 

An Italian Name (Il nome del figlio), 7 p.m. April 1, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. The extrovert Paolo and the beautiful Simona are expecting. At a dinner with Betta and Sandro, the refined and literate couple, and Claudio, the eccentric musician, one question will lead to an argument that will shake up the night: the name of Paolo and Simona’s son.

Mafia and Tomatoes (La nostra terra), 7 p.m. April 2, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. Nicola Sansone is the proprietor of a farm in Southern Italy that is confiscated by the government and assigned to a cooperative. As the cooperative is not successful, Filippo, who works in the anti-Mafia offices in the North, is sent to help.

Emergency Exit: Young Italians Abroad, 7 p.m. April 7, G24 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Anna, Mauro, Milena, and the others do not know each other, but they all have something in common: they left Italy, transferring abroad and betting on the opportunity for a better future. This documentary reports what the young Italians living abroad do, think, and dream and relays whether they will remain or return and if leaving is really the emergency exit to change their uncertain future.

Me, Myself, and Her (Io e lei), 7 p.m. April 8, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. Marina and Federica have lived together for several years, but their love story is now at a crossroads. Just when Marina thinks that they can consider themselves a couple, Federica endures a series of events that causes her to have an identity crisis.

Palio, 7 p.m. April 14, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. The city of Siena, in the heart of Tuscany, is home to the oldest horse race in the world: The Palio. This documentary captures the intensity of the event and the beauty of Siena. It creates a fascinating portrayal of this secular tradition and recounts the dramatic story of a young jockey, Tittia, who, in search of glory, challenges his shrewd mentor, Trecciolino. 

Una storia sbagliata (Another South), 7 p.m. April 15, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. Stefania is a nurse from Gela, Sicily, who takes part in a humanitarian mission to Iraq during the second Gulf War. Here she finds a world that is much different than what she imagined and heard. For Stefania, it is primarily a trip of self-discovery of her past, love for Roberto, and prior life.

I, Harlequin (Io, Arlecchino), 7 p.m. April 16, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. Paolo Milesi, host of a famous television program, is forced to return to his hometown to take care of his father, a well-known actor and interpreter of the Harlequin character. The old wounds of their difficult relationship are reopened, while Paolo slowly rediscovers the fascinating world of the Commedia Dell’Arte—a world that will make him question his own superficial existence. The film screening will be followed by a closing-night reception in the Frick Fine Arts Cloisters.

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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