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First Light (La prima luce) | © First Light via ICFF
First Light (La prima luce) | © First Light via ICFF
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Top Italian Films Screening At Toronto's ICFF In 2016

Picture of Teya Zuzek
Updated: 3 January 2017
June brings Italian Heritage Month to Canada. Torontonians are fortunate enough to have no shortage of opportunities to embrace Italian culture, from food to art to music and – of course – film. The fifth annual Italian Contemporary Film Festival is being hosted in six cities across Ontario and Quebec. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the key films.

Alaska (2015)

A relationship is sparked when two young people meet in the halls of a grand hotel in Paris. Fausto, an Italian waiter, and Nadine, a French model, are both trying to reach seemingly unreachable ideas of happiness. Falling in love only exemplifies this; their journey together is ridden with obstacles, from shady friendship to prison. They struggle to stay together, against all odds.

TIFF Bell Lightbox (Toronto) – June 12 @ 7pm and June 13 @ 6:45pm / Colossus (Vaughan) – June 12 @ 9pm

Ustica (2016)

On June 27, 1980, a Douglas DC-9 en route from Bologna to Palermo exploded mid-air above the islands of Ustica and Ponzo. The reason for this crash has not been established and remains a source of controversy. Director Renzo Martinelli unveils a new, frightening truth, supported by documentary material.

TIFF Bell Lightbox – June 15 @ 9:30

Revelstoke (Un bacio nel vento) (2015)

The discovery of love letters between director Nicola Moruzzi’s great grandparents, hidden in a drawer in his aunt’s house, moved him to share a journey from Italy to Revelstoke, British Columbia. In the 13 months that 28-year-old Angelo Conte spent in Revelstoke, he did not stop writing his wife, Anna.

Colossus (Vaughan) – June 11 @ 7pm

The Correspondence (2016)

Directed by Academy Award-winner Giuseppe Tornatore, this North American premiere is sure to be an audience favourite. Amy is doing her graduate studies in astrophysics and spends her free time acting as a stunt double for television films. When her professor, with whom she is involved in a passionate love affair, seems to vanish into thin air, she is forced to answer the question “why?” Her quest for answers is only amplified by him continuously sending her messages throughout the day.

TIFF Bell Lightbox – June 17 @ 7pm / Colossus (Vaughan) – June 11 @ 9pm

First Light (2015)

When Marco, an Italian national, and his South American wife, Martina, end their relationship, she wants to bring their son, Mateo, back to her native country. Despite Marco’s disagreement with this decision, Martina decides to run away with Mateo and leave no trace behind, leaving Marco to follow them to South America, trying to find anything he can.

TIFF Bell Lightbox – June 9 @ 10pm

Quo Vado? (2016)

Quo Vado? made more on a three-day weekend than Star Wars: The Force Awakens made in three weeks. The ICFF is proudly showcasing this Italian blockbuster on opening night. Checco was born into a comfortable life in a small town in Southern Italy and guaranteed a job as a public servant. However, the reformist government promises to cut down on bureaucracy, so he is forced to accept ever-worsening public-sector postings. While on assignment in Italy’s Arctic research station, he falls in love with Valeria, a progressive Norwegian. A hilarious satire is sure to make audiences laugh, not to mention that the film’s star, Checco Zalone, and director, Gennaro Nunziante, will be present at the festival.

TIFF Bell Lightbox (Toronto) – June 9 @ 7pm / Colossus (Vaughan) – June 10 @ 9pm and 9:15pm

Antonia (2016)

Despite dying at the young age of 26, Antonia Pozzi left a lasting impression on poetry. Ferdinando Cito Filomarino’s Antonia allows one to relive several personal periods in her life that were important for her development as a person and an artist. From her upper-middle-class family and being in love with her former Greek and Latin teacher to university, sexuality, and her passion for mountain climbing and photography, the audience will gain an understanding of why Eugenio Montale once wrote that she was “a messiah of nature.”

TIFF Bell Lightbox – June 12 @ 2pm

Don’t Be Bad (2015)

The Roman suburbs in the ‘90s is a world flooded with money, powerful cars, nightclubs, and drugs. Initiation into this lifestyle has a very high cost, and Vittorio knows this. He distances himself from his friend, Caesar, who seems to be sinking deeper into the hedonistic lifestyle. However, Vittorio can never really abandon his friend.

Colossus – June 10 @ 6:00pm

All Roads Lead to Rome (2015)

This is a romantic comedy you don’t want to miss. Maggie is an uptight, single mother from New York City. To reconnect with her troubled teen daughter Summer, she decides to travel to a Tuscan village that she visited in her youth. She runs into Luca, a handsome former lover, and his mother, Carmen. When Carmen and Summer impulsively steal Luca’s car and race off to Rome to reconnect with their loves, Maggie and Luca quickly follow. The mismatched couples develop a new understanding of each other. Actors Raoul Bova (Under the Tuscan Sun) and Claudia Cardinale (8 ½, The Pink Panther) will be present for this screening.

TIFF Bell Lightbox – June 16 @ 9:30pm / Colossus (Vaughan) – June 15 @ 9pm

Me, Myself and Her (2015)

Federica and Marina have lived together for five years. They have different personalities and modes of life: one being a former actress, the other an architect. A series of events destabilizes their relationship, forcing Federica to ask herself who she really loves, and who is she, really? Maria Sole Tognazzi’s Me, Myself and Her is a true romantic comedy – passionate, unusual, and hard fought.

TIFF Bell Lightbox – June 10 @ 9:30pm