Film buffs, time to start clearing your schedule. The Italian Film Festival is in town, and it’s in full swing.
Now in its third year, the festival is a partnership between the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Italian government.
Mauro Vescera, executive director with the Italian Cultural centre says it’s been growing in leaps and bounds since it started – with tickets now often selling out in pre-sales.
“It’s a great problem to have.”
Vescera says the programming is a mixture of documentary, new, and classic films from Italy.
“Our philosophy is to feature a five classic films and a number of contemporary films and blend them together.”
As far as classics go, Vescera says they try and keep a focus each year.
The first year it was the films of Fellini, last year was Sophia Loren, and this year it’s Pasolini.
“We’re blessed in having a real palette of classics to pick from.”
Vescara says you don’t need to be Italian to enjoy the festival – but you do need to be quick.
There are just 15 films being screened until January 14th, and some of them may already be sold out.
Shane and Mauro’s top pics for the Italian Film Fest 2016:
A powerful, political film, Draquila is about the city of Aquila in central Italy, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2009.
The film is a documentary about the rebuild of the city that never happened.
“It’s sort of a Michael Moorish film,” says Vescara “the sort of play on words, Dracula, is that the rebuild was promised but a lot of the funds didn’t go back in but were siphoned off in sort of a vampire analogy.”
I Vitelloni (1953)
A Fellini classic, I VItelloni is about a group of young Italian men living in a resort community.
The film follows their hopes and dreams in an almost comic way, with the director’s typical focus on passion for life.
“It’s quite a light film like most Fellini films,” says Vescara. “It seems almost playful, but well worth seeing – if you haven’t ever seen a Fellini film its a great introduction to his work.”
The Dinner (2014)
“I’m circling The Dinner. That one was a big smash at VIFF this year,” says Vescara.
The Ivano de Matteo-directed drama centres around a violent surveillance footage video that could undo the lives of two well-to-do families.
An often dark and incisive critique of success and the modern culture of violence, it has been a huge critical success – said by some to be better than the novel it’s based on.