By: Emily Maybanks
The Italian Film Festival Cardiff (IFFC) is returning for a third year and will run from Wednesday 22nd November until Sunday 26th November 2017. The IFFC will be held at Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre. The festival has been created and directed by a dedicated team of individuals, including Swansea University’s Dr Luca Paci (who, in fact, teaches me for one of my modules). The programme for this year’s IFFC will offer “a thought-provoking and entertaining glimpse of life in contemporary Italy”, which are the words of festival co-director Luisa Pèrcopo.
A selection of twelve independent will be featured at this year’s IFFC and will explore various universal themes, including belonging and identity in a rapidly changing world. With comedy, drama and animation, there’s something for everyone. The films have been created by Italy’s brightest stars and this year’s IFFC will include seven premieres. The festival is also going to present the Welsh premiere of the film which will be the Italian submission for the 2018 Oscars. Jonas Carpignano’s A Ciambra (which will be shown on 24th November) is the powerful tale of a boy’s journey to manhood and is set in Calabria. The film is described by executive producer Martin Scorsese as “compelling and accomplished”.
The IFFC 2017 will welcome several of the films’ directors which will give the audiences in Cardiff the incredible opportunity to take part in question and answer sessions after some of the films. Guests will include legendary Italian actor Flavio Bucci who stars in The Gospel According to Mattei (will be shown on 25th November), alongside the film’s two director-stars; and Silvio Soldini, whose film Emma (will be shown on 24th November) features world-famous actress Valeria Golino. The film explores life and love for the protagonist, who is blind. Also joining audiences for post screening question and answer sessions will be Gianfranco Cabiddu who is the director of The Stuff of Dreams, which is a comedic tale of revenge and redemption and was inspired by Shakespeare. The IFFC 2017 will open on 22nd November with retrospective look at Italian film and its connection to contemporary cinema. The final film to be shown on 26th November will be the critically-acclaimed satirical comedy set during the Allied landings in Sicily, At War for Love. Furthermore, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Michelangelo Antonioni’s death, on 23rd November, the IFFC will be hosting an event about his masterpiece Red Desert, which will be supported by Cardiff University, and will feature speakers and lunch before a screening of the film. Many of the films at this year’s festival have only very recently been released in Italy but have already been met with success on a critical and a box office level.
I think that the IFFC 2017 looks set to be a unique, intriguing and educational festival, and that’s not because my lecturer is one of the directors! However, the 19th and 20th centuries saw much Italian immigration to Wales. Consequently, Wales has developed a strong Italian community. To have a festival showcasing and celebrating Italian cinema held in the Welsh capital will undoubtedly encourage a sense of community. In a world which is currently so politically and culturally divided for various reasons, it is, I believe, more important than ever to celebrate our differences as well as the things that unify us. It is important to note that the IFFC is not only for those who speak or understand the Italian language, but for everyone. All of the films will have subtitles.
For further reference, here is a video of Swansea University lecturer Dr Luca Paci discussing the IFFC 2017.
You can access the IFFC 2017 website by clicking here, where you will find more information about the Italian Film Festival.