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March 21, 2022

A Letter from the SDIFF Team

Dear SDIFF friends,

Our hearts are full of sadness and grief as we announce the passing of the Founder, President and Executive Director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival, Victor Laruccia. 

On behalf of the SDIFF Board of Directors, we want to express our deepest condolences to Victor’s family, first and foremost to Janice, his wonderful wife, and Jennifer, his beloved stepdaughter. The SDIFF family is here for you. 

Yes, the SDIFF family, because one of the many talents of Victor was to connect people and create community. What Victor has been doing in these last 16 years was building the San Diego Italian Film Festival’s family, always through his infinite love for movies and storytelling. Year after year, Victor, and all the people blessed by working with him brought the best in Italian movies to San Diego. But Victor’s goal was never mere entertainment, even though he could be a wonderful entertainer himself. The goal was, and still is, a different one: sharing cultures. 

In Italy, the piazza is the center of life and activity. Members of the community meet to talk over the day’s events and share their lives and passions. It’s here that friendships are forged, romances are kindled, and stories unfold. At the San Diego Italian Film Festival, it was Victor’s mission to be like the piazza: stimulating, educating, provoking, connecting, and sharing stories through the lens of Italian culture. Our main tool is Italian cinema, although we’re not just about Italian films, but more importantly about an Italian perspective.  The passion for Italian cinema forged a community here in San Diego, built on friendships and a love of culture and connectedness.

We gather here together in our piazza to remember a wonderful human being, a father, a friend, a mentor to many of us. And to share stories about our love for him. The loss of Victor is huge, yet we will be forever grateful to have been a part of his life. Victor loved the San Diego Italian Film Festival and the SDIFF family loved, loves, and will love him forever.

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