The San Diego Italian Film Festival continues to screen one Italian film each month through July 2014 at the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas. All of the movies will be on Thursday evenings, starting at 7 p.m. , in Italian with English subtitles.

Photo on the right: movie still from Scialla! (Easy!)

March 13            Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die) dir. Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, 2012

April 10               Scialla! (Easy!) dir. Francesco Bruni, 2013

May 8                   Benvenuto Presidente! (Welcome, President!) dir. Riccardo Milani, 2013

June 5                   Diciotto anni dopo (Eighteen Years Later) dir. Edoardo Leo, 2010

July 10                 To be announced – it’s a surprise!

San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF) starts its eighth year in 2014 and will be significantly expanding its programming and commitment to North County audiences. SDIFF has found a great second home at the historic La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas over the last two years, where audiences have shown enthusiasm and appreciation for the current, award winning Italian movies that SDIFF brings to San Diego.

Allen Largent, president of La Paloma, whose history with the theater goes back to when he was a teenager in Encinitas, has one of the few big screen, traditional movie houses that remain in San Diego, complete with popcorn and candy. The theater is located in downtown Encinitas, close to lots of great restaurants and plenty of parking in walking distance.

The selection of films for 2014 will give audiences variety, including drama, romantic comedy and even a nod to Shakespeare with the screening of Caesar Must Die, directed by the famous Taviani brothers. The series opened on Jan. 23 with the touching comedy-drama Matter of the Heart by the celebrated Italian director Francesca Archibugi, about two men who meet when they both end up in the cardiac wing of the hospital.

All of the movies presented by the SDIFF are introduced by one of the group’s film experts, who bring insight into the context, cinematography, politics, cast or simply aspects of Italian culture. You won’t see most of these movies anywhere else – unless you go to Italy – so join the San Diego Italian Film Festival at the La Paloma Theatre for seven Italian movies.

All movies are in Italian with English subtitles.

All movies start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 ($8 for SDIFF Members, students, and military with ID) and can be purchased at the theater’s box office (cash only).


Movie Descriptions:

Questione di cuore

Two men with virtually nothing in common strike up the closest of friendships but must deal with the impending shadow of mortality, in this gentle comedy-drama from cause-célèbre Italian director Francesca Archibugi.

Ex (Many Kisses Later)

The 2009 Italian box office champion Many Kisses Later, from Fausto Brizzi, is a brisk romantic comedy about that crazy little thing called love. It does indeed begin with declarations of love and plenty of kisses, but the question is raised: does love go on? The film follows six couples between Christmas and Valentine’s Day in episodes that intertwine and revolve around the end of a love affair and the ways former lovers can shape our lives.

Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die)

Every year in the high-security wing at Rome’s Rebibbia prison, professional actors and directors create moving theater with murderers, Mafia capos, and other hardened criminals as their actors. This year, well-known theater director Fabio Cavalli is putting on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a story of over-reaching ambition, betrayal, and brotherhood – not unlike the environment many of his “actors” come from. Cavalli puts the prisoners, many serving life terms, through their paces, and they grow into their parts, transformed by the experience and the surprising relevance of ancient Rome to their lives today in a Roman prison.

Scialla! (Easy!)

The comic and tender heart of this film beats loud and clear through the serious story it tells about life, relationships, appearances, and about changes in the structure of Italian life family. The beautifully sequenced script keeps a smile on viewers’ faces and stimulates much rueful laughter.

Bruno Beltrame’s life has not turned out the way he expected. He has given up his hopes of being a writer and his career as a high school teacher. Now he ekes out a living as a ghostwriter for celebrities and tutor for liceo students. A student’s mother asks him to care for her son, Luca, a boy in a hoodie, who cares much more about his “street cred” (credibiltá di strada) than his studies. For what takes place next, the question is—who teaches what to whom?

Benvenuto Presidente! (Welcome, President!)

This affable film comedy carries a strong message about Italian politics and civic responsibility, told with heart and humor. Through a series of missteps and coincidences, Giuseppe Garibaldi, the local librarian and fisherman from a small mountain village, has been elected president of Italy. Having agreed to renounce the post, he changes his mind once he sees how things really operate. He is an “everyman” thrust into a powerful position, making changes he has only dreamed of.

Diciotto anni dopo (Eighteen Years Later)

In this award-winning movie, two estranged brothers, traveling in classic Morgan convertible, are obliged to deliver their father’s ashes to his hometown in Calabria. Genziano and Mirko haven’t spoken for 18 years. As they travel across Italy, sometimes accompanied by the beautiful and mysterious hitchhiker named Cate, the brothers revisit and fight about various family secrets. A bittersweet comedy on guilt, family relations, and all that happened eighteen years earlier.

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