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23rd edition of Italian Film Focus


The 23rd edition of the Italian Film Focus kicks off in Cape Town from 4 to 6 December 2023, organized by Controluce together with the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Italian Embassy, the Italian Consulate in Cape Town, and the Italian Cultural Institute of Pretoria.

The eight films proposed come from the most important and recent international festivals and will be introduced by some prestigious guests.

The festival will open with the docufiction GIANNI VERSACE, L’IMPERTORE DEI SOGNI by Mimmo Calopresti, presented by the director himself and the producer Mariella Li Sacchi. An absolute preview outside Italy. A story that tells us about the creative and visionary ambition of a fashion genius expressed through a skillful editing of fiction, archive material and unpublished interviews. A film that instead narrates the solitary and reckless struggle of a woman is ANNA, by the Sicilian director Amenta, who had already offered us the clear figure of another southern heroine with The Rebel Sicilian. As for female characters and personalities, Italian cinema seems to have regained interest and awareness of their expressive power, and the public recognizes it and itself in them even if they are women who are not contemporary with us like the protagonist of C’È ANCORA DOMANI by Paola Cortellesi, which will be exceptionally presented by the two screenwriters, Giulia Calenda and Furio Andreotti. A story that mixes tension and smile, with our “heroine” who appears resigned, who “puts up with it” because all the other women do this, because by her very nature she is peaceful and always finds a justification for the violence she suffers, but which in the end she finds her redemption not in the individual and private act of revenge but in the civic one of her own awareness as a citizen, with her rights and duties. In the double role of character and director, Cortellesi gives us an intimately familiar but inevitably historical drama.

As for characters on the edge by necessity but also by choice, constructed with a highly effective spatial and temporal symmetry, DISCO BOY emerges, the first work by Giacomo Abbruzzese, whose training as a documentary filmmaker is revealed in the accuracy with which the shots are composed and the faces and landscapes were shot, to then transcend into a semi-dreamlike vision but no less effective in its political and historical value. The director will attend at the screening. Even the great director Marco Bellocchio starts from a family unit and from a non-contemporary story, but here the diversity and injustice is not of gender, but of what is defined as “race” and religion. The Jew as the other, as the one who must be “normalized”, brought back to the “right” side. A great fresco of a period and a truth that is little told and represented in Italy. The latest work by the tireless and always acute Liliana Cavani will also be presented, which tells us about a near future very rooted in the present, in a classic piece with high-level actors the unpredictable dynamics of a group of so-called friends when a disruptive and uncontrollable external fact, when the conflict comes from the outside. This selection also includes LA CHIMERA, the fourth film by another established director, Alice Rohrwachwer, presented and awarded at the last Cannes festival. With her unmistakable narrative style, which knows how to mix everyday life, myth and the rural landscape with depth and fun, she takes us into a story of characters on the margins, who “plunder” history out of necessity and with a touch of madness.

Lastly, we can’t but offer our public a movie where smiling is predominant but without relaxing too much, however, where everything is born with the best intentions, from the celebration of a holiday, which inevitably takes a turn, at least wavering, to reveal our inability to know how to manage human and professional relationships with maturity and sincerity, especially towards ourselves. This is precisely what happens in “I MIGLIORI GIORNI” by Massimiliano Bruno and Edoardo Bruno.

All great films that speak to us precisely about the dream and perhaps the utopia of cinema of wanting to talk to us about man, and woman, in all their dimensions and conditions.

The Italian delegation will participate in some meetings with the film schools of Cape Town.

For information: Bettina Elten

  • Organized by: IIC PRETORIA
  • In collaboration with: Controluce, the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Italian Embassy in Pretoria, the Italian Consulate in Cape Town.