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September 23, 2014

San Diego Italian Film Festival’s feStivale 2014 Launches Eighth Year of Bringing the Best of Italian Film to San Diego

San Diego— The eighth annual San Diego Italian Film Festival showcases the best of new Italian film with a series of premieres ranging from engaging dramas and entertaining comedies to documentaries telling unique stories. All the films featured but one were produced in Italy, within the past 18 months, and many are regional or even U.S. premieres.

Included in the lineup is 2013’s La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty), co-written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, which won Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, as well as the Golden Globe and the BAFTA award in the same category in 2013.

feStivale 2014 brings a new focus on community partnership to the festival, with presentations and events planned in collaboration with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Surfrider Foundation, the American Institute of Architects San Diego chapter, and the Coming of Age Film Festival.

“The San Diego Italian Film Festival is about more than just movies,” says president Victor Laruccia. “It is about identity, history, and a shared appreciation of Italian culture and great cinema–—in a word, it is about community. In Italy, communities come together in the piazza or town square. The San Diego Italian Film Festival is such a place, for a diverse audience of film lovers and those who appreciate Italian culture.”

feStivale 2014 begins on October 16, 2014, at the Museum of Photographic Arts, with Anni felici (Those Happy Years), which has only ever been seen within the U.S. at the Palm Springs Film Festival.

The festival continues with nine more Italian films of 2013 and 2014, many of which have never been shown in San Diego, including incisive documentaries reflecting life and society in Italy today. Venues include the Museum of Photographic Arts, La Paloma Theatre, and the UltraStar theatre at Hazard Center.

Details of all feStivale 2014 events and films can be found on the website:

All tickets are $10 ($8 SDIFF Members/Students/Military), at the door, cash only, except for the Gala Presentation of Una piccolo impresa meridionale (A Small Southern Enterprise), which is included in the Gala ticket.

feStivale 2014 films:

Anni felici (Those Happy Years), 2013

Only previously seen within the U.S. at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Oct. 16, 7:30pm, MoPA
Oct. 17, 7pm, La Paloma

Directed by Daniele Luchetti; starring Kim Rossi Stuart, Micaela Ramazzotti, Martina Gedeck, Samuel Garofalo, Niccolò Calvagna, and Pia Engleberth.

A delicate, nuanced film that is unexpectedly moving in its portrait of a young Italian family living through the turbulent, freedom-loving ’70s.

La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty), 2013

Best Foreign Language Film: 86th Academy Awards, Golden Globe, and BAFTA
Oct. 17, 7:30pm, MoPA
Oct. 18, 7pm, La Paloma

Directed by Paolo Sorrentino; starring Tony Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso, and Galatea Ranzi.

Oscar winner Sorrentino delivers gorgeous images: a man, a city, and a love that cannot be consummated, nor forgotten.

Il carattere Italiano (Italian Character)*, 2013

Only previously seen within the U.S. at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Oct. 19, 4:15pm, MoPA

Directed by Angelo Bozzolini; featuring Antonio Pappano, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Lang Lang, Yuri Temirkanov, Daniel Harding, James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, Stefano Bollani, Janine Jansen, Lisa Batiashvili, Evgeny Kissin, and Denis Matsuev.

What makes Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia unique? See—and hear—for yourself! Director Angelo Bozzolini dives deep to give us insights into the lives, motivations, anxieties and triumphs of several members of the orchestra and its charismatic and brilliant conductor Antonio Pappano.

Il capital umano (Human Capital), 2014

Southern California premiere
Oct. 19, 7:30pm, MoPA

Directed by Paolo Virzì; starring Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Fabrizio Gifuni, Valeria Golino, and Luigi Lo Cascio.

Human Capital is an anguishing thriller, set in a wintry northern Italy: a stylish fusion of class critique and murder mystery.

The Vision of Paolo Soleri*, 2013

Southern California premiere
Oct. 20, 7:30pm, MoPA

Directed by Lisa Scafuro; featuring Paolo Soleri, Will Bruder, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Paul Goldberger, Catherine Hardwicke, Steven Holl, Elizabeth Mock Kesslar, Charles Montooth, Morley Safer, Giancarlo and Giovanna Solimene, Eric Lloyd Wright, and Will Wright.

Paolo Soleri was an architect and architectural philosopher whose ideas about the interplay of the environment and development resonate today but gained only limited recognition in his lifetime. While uncovering Soleri’s legacy as an architect, environmentalist, and philosopher, the film poses critical questions about mankind’s future, and architecture in a world facing environmental, social, and economic crisis.

Il comandante e la cicogna (Garibaldi’s Lovers), 2012

California premiere
Oct. 21, 7:30pm, MoPA

Directed by Silvio Soldini; starring Valerio Mastandrea, Alba Rohrwacher, Claudia Gerini, Luca Zingaretti, Giuseppe Battiston, Luca Dirodi, and Serena Pinto.

A modern tale on contemporary Italy in which a love story intertwined with family affairs collides with the materialism of our times. Director Silvio Soldini is best known for the multi-award-winning Bread and Tulips.

Alì ha gli occhi azzurri (Ali Blue Eyes), 2012

U.S. premiere
Oct. 22, 7:30pm, MoPA

Directed by Claudio Giovannesi; starring Nader Sarhan, Stefano Rabatti, Brigitte Apruzzesi, and Marian Valenti Adrian.

A modern take on Italian neo-realism, Ali Blue Eyes exudes a deep authenticity with stellar performances. Director Claudio Giavannesi places his characters against the backdrop of a working-class suburb in Rome to open up what it means to be young, Italian, and the child of immigrants.

Bella Vita - A Surfer’s Journey Through Italy*, 2013

San Diego premiere
Oct. 23, 7:30pm, UltraStar Hazard Center

Directed by Jason Baffa; featuring Chris del Moro, Dave Rastovich, Conner & Parker Coffin, and Leonardo Fioravanti.

You don’t often think of surf films what you think of Italy. A visual epic captured in stunning 35mm, Bella Vita is an intimate and powerful journey of self-discovery, seeped in culture, tradition, and passion—where family comes first. Filmmaker Jason Baffa chronicles Del Moro’s surf-travels with companions, Maggi Orli, Dave Rastovich, Lauren Lyndsey Hill, Conner & Parker Coffin, and Italian standouts Alessandro Ponzanell and Leonardo Fioravanti.

Miele (Honey), 2013

California premiere
Oct. 24, 7:30pm, MoPA

Directed by Valeria Golino; starring Jasmine Trinca, Carlo Cecchi, and Libero de Rienzo

Miele is a controlled character study of a young woman’s awakening to the brighter side of life. Italian actress Valeria Golino (Rain Man) crosses over to the director’s chair in this character study of a mysterious young woman, Miele (Jasmine Trinca from The Best of Youth), committed to helping the terminally ill end their suffering (very much illegal in Italy).


Una piccolo impresa meridionale (A Small Southern Enterprise), 2013

U.S. premiere
Oct. 25, 7:30pm, MoPA

Directed by Rocco Papaleo; starring Rocco Papaleo, Riccardo Scamarcio, Barbora Bobulova, Sarah Felberbaum, Claudia Potenza, and Giuliana Lojodice.

Gala ticket holders only: $100 General, $85 SDIFF Members, Students & Military

A former priest and his mother, a lesbian and a retired call girl, two eccentric workers and a little girl: what kind of harmony is it possible for this astounding group of people?

*Anita Laing Memorial Documentary Project

Festival Gala

Saturday, October 25, 2014
5:30pm, MoPA

The SDIFF closing gala lights the evening with the flavors, whispers, and textures of Italian passion, celebrating a year of great movies, hard work, and the generosity of the patrons, a party dedicated to the culture that ties us to each other and to the generations emerging from that splendid combination—the Italian heritage of style, flavor, and love.

$100 per person ($85 for Students and Military) includes appetizers and movie.

More details on each film and a complete lineup of SDIFF events, dates, venues, and tickets can be found at

Media contact: Stephanie Thompson Communications, 619-840-7353