Italian Film Festival

Italian Film Festival
March 27, 2019 paperlesslion

The 2019 Italian Film Festival opens Wednesday with the screening of Benedetto follia (“Blessed Madness”) at the Detroit Institute of Arts. In all 12 films and seven shorts will screen for free in Detroit and nearby environs, including the Emerald Theatre in Mt. Clemens and the Sun Theatre in Grand Ledge, April 3-May 5. This year’s program includes appearances by film directors and a special film program for children.

For details, click here.

Details from IFF:

Featuring comedy, drama and animation, the Italian Film Festival USA of Metro Detroit announces its 2019 lineup of the best recent Italian cinema with films from award-winning directors, as well as debut films from exciting new talent. The program includes a captivating selection of dramas, comedies, and documentaries of the local premieres of 12 full length films and two short film series, April 3 – May 5 at venues throughout southeast Michigan and Greater Lansing area.

Opening on Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) with the 2018 hit comedy “Blessed Madness,” FREE screenings will continue each weekend through May 5 when the festival culminates with the Children’s Program. Continuing to expand its reach throughout Michigan, this year’s festival will include screenings in Grand Ledge and at a new location in Macomb County, the historic and beautiful Emerald Theatre in Mt. Clemens.

In the award-nominated “Blessed Madness,” celebrated director and actor Carlo Verdone plays a shop owner who suddenly finds himself single after 25 years of marriage, and who has to deal with an overbearing new employee to boot.

Following the opening, screenings will be held in various locations on weekends: Wayne State University (Detroit), April 5-6; Michigan State University (East Lansing), April 12-13; Sun Theatre (Grand Ledge), April 13-14; Emerald Theatre (Mt. Clemens), April 19-20; Detroit Film Theatre (Detroit), April 26-28; and Bloomfield Township Public Library (Bloomfield Township), May 5.

“Italy continues to produce innovative films, and the festival lets viewers experience a whole range of genres, landscapes, and dialects. It’s a unique cultural offering in Michigan, and we are excited about new collaborations and beautiful new theaters in the mix this year,” said Pierluigi Erbaggio, head of the festival’s organizing committee.

Special appearances by film creators will give audiences a behind-the-scenes perspective during post-film discussions with directors of select featured films. These will take place after the following screenings: Friday, April 5 at Wayne State University, “As Needed” with director Francesco Falaschi, and Friday, April 19 at Emerald Theatre, “Resin” with director Renzo Carbonera. Additional guests might be announced later.

Continuing its commitment to draw in younger generations of Italian film lovers, the Children’s Program introduced last year returns. Designed for children ages 6-12, the Children’s Program will feature a selection of short animated and live-action films at the Bloomfield Township Public Library on Sunday, May 5, starting at 2 p.m.

The image above is a still from Il vizio de la esperenza (“The vice of hope”).

A full schedule is below.


Opening Night, Wednesday, April 3 (Detroit Institute of Arts’ Detroit Film Theatre, 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit)

Wednesday, April 3
7:30 p.m.                     “Blessed Madness”
2018 – Director, Carlo Verdone, Comedy, 109 min.
After his wife leaves him, mild-mannered Guglielmo embarks on a series of absurd dates.

Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 (Wayne State University, 100 General Lectures Hall, 5045 Anthony Wayne Drive, Detroit)

  • Friday, April 5
    7:00 p.m.                     “As Needed”
    2018 – Director, Francesco Falaschi, Comedy, 92 min.
    A talented chef with a troubled past is assigned to community service as a cooking instructor at a school for teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome. Will the improbable friendship with a student help turn his life around?
    *Special appearance by director Francesco Falaschi
  • Saturday, April 6
    5:00 p.m.                     “Like a Cat on a Highway”
    2018 – Director Riccardo Milani, Comedy, 98 min.
    Giovanni and Monica have a common goal: the friendship between their children, like a cat on a highway, must end!
    Followed by a special presentation of “Speaking Sicilianu,” a short documentary on Sicilian language, by local director Nina Ignaczak.
  • 7:30 p.m.          “The Girl in the Fog”
    2017 – Director, Donato Carrisi, Drama, 128 min.
    A famous detective is called to solve the disappearance of a teenager. There are no clues, no tracks to follow.

Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 (Michigan State University, Wells Hall B122, 619 Red Cedar Rd., East Lansing)

  • Friday, April 12
    7:00 p.m.                     “Manuel”
    2017 – Director, Dario Albertini, Drama, 97 min.
    Manuel, who just turned eighteen, leaves the family center where he was placed when his mother was jailed. Happy to be free again, he has just one objective: to help his mother get her sentence commuted to house arrest.
  • Saturday, April 13
    7:00 p.m.                     “The Girl in the Fog”
    2017 – Director, Donato Carrisi, Drama, 128 min.
    A famous detective is called to solve the disappearance of a teenager. There are no clues, no tracks to follow.

Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14 (Sun Theatre, 316 S. Bridge St., Grand Ledge)

  • Saturday, April 13
    12:00 p.m.                   “Put Grandma in the Freezer”
    2018 – Director, Giancarlo Fontana and Giuseppe Stasi, Comedy, 100 min.
    Ingenious deceptions, disguises and misunderstandings are the ingredients for this irreverent comedy!
  • Sunday, April 14
    12:00 p.m.                   “Let Me Introduce You to Sofia”
    2018 – Director, Guido Chiesa, Comedy, 87 min.
    Gabriele, the divorced father of 10-year-old Sofia, meets the woman of his dreams. But Mara doesn’t like children. How can he make the two most important women in his life happy?

Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 (Emerald Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., Mount Clemens)

  • Friday, April 19
    7:00 p.m.                     “Resin”
    2017 – Director, Renzo Carbonera, Drama, 92 min.
    Quirino, a member of the local men’s choir, asks a young cellist to help the choir return to its former glory.
    *Special appearance by director Renzo Carbonera
  • Saturday, April 20
    5:00 p.m.                     “Put Grandma in the Freezer”
    2018 – Director, Giancarlo Fontana and Giuseppe Stasi, Comedy, 100 min.
    Ingenious deceptions, disguises and misunderstandings are the ingredients for this irreverent comedy!
    7:30 p.m.                     “Just Believe”
    2018 – Director, Alessandro Aronadio, Comedy, 100 min.
    Massimo, owner of a B & B, is overwhelmed by his tax burden. But he has an epiphany: tax-free status!

Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28 (Detroit Institute of Arts’ Detroit Film Theatre, 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit)

  • Friday, April 26
    7:00 p.m.                     “The Stolen Caravaggio”
    2018 – Director, Roberto Andó, Drama, 110 min.
    Valeria is approached by a mysterious man who gives her an unusual gift: the plot for her next script. But that plot turns out to be dangerous: it is about the mysterious 1969 theft of a famous painting by Caravaggio, The Nativity.
  • Saturday, April 27
    5:00 p.m.                     Short Film Program
    2018, Comedy, Drama, Animation, 82 min.
    Seven recent films “Filmesque,” “Magic Alps,” “Happy Hour,” “SugarLove,” “Day Labor,” “Elvis,” and “The World Cup in a Square” are in competition for audience favorite.
    8:00 p.m.                     “The Voice of Hope”
    2018, Director Edoardo De Angelis, Drama, 96 min.
    Maria lives a hand-to-mouth existence, without dreams or desires, but hope will pay her a visit.
  • Sunday, April 28
    5:00 p.m.                     “Bob and Mary’s”
    2018 – Director, Francesco Prisco, Comedy, 100 min.
    Married couple Roberto and Marisa lead a tranquil and uneventful life, until criminals break into their house and fill it with boxes of illegal merchandise – a practice known as “accúppatura”. This forces them to make a bold move!

Sunday, May 5 (Bloomfield Township Public Library, 1099 Lone Pine Rd., Bloomfield Township)

  • Sunday, May 5
    2:00 p.m.                     Children’s Program
    2018, Comedy, Drama, Animation, 82 min.
    A family-friendly program of 12 short films, geared toward an audience of children aged 6-12.
    Admission is FREE and open to the public. All films will be shown in original language with English subtitles.

Film trailers, cast and additional information are available at http://www.italianfilmfests. org/detroit.

The 2019 Italian Film Festival USA of Metro Detroit is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Minigrant program, administered by the Anton Art Center.

The Italian Film Festival USA Metro Detroit thanks its generous sponsors, including:

  • National Sponsor: Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, Volpi Foods
  • Metro Detroit Festival Sponsor: Anton Art Center, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Opening/Closing Night Sponsor: Dante Alighieri Society, Italian American Club of Livonia-Charitable Foundation, Italian American Cultural Society
  • Film Sponsors: Butzel Long, Café Cortina, Federazione Abruzzese del Michigan, Hinman & DiCicco, I love Italian Movies Blog

Founded in 2005, the Italian Film Festival USA is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that screens, with free admission, premiers of contemporary award-winning Italian films. With 12 other major metropolitan cities and more than 15,000 viewers, the festival is one of a kind in all the United States. Last year’s event in Metro Detroit drew more than 4,200 people and was the most highly attended of all of the festivals.

For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, please visit the festival’s website or call 248-917-2352. The organizing committee is seeking sponsorships at multiple levels, ranging from $25 to $3,500. Donations are welcome anytime and can be done via PayPal from our Facebook page or our website.

Follow Italian Film Festival USA on Facebook at @ItalianFilmFestivalUSA and on Twitter at @ItalianFilmFest.