A MESSAGE FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR A film festival is as good as the films being produced…and the last few years were truly bountiful for Italian cinema. We have programmed films that won major awards in Berlin, Cannes and Venice. Choosing which films to screen in our Festival becomes more challenging each year, given the enormous amount of high quality submissions we receive. But it is also fun and exciting.
CRISTIANO DE FLORENTIIS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ICFF CO-FOUNDER
The fifth edition of the ICFF, presented by IC Savings, has a lineup of 70 features, shorts and documentaries, including 42 premieres. The selection represents the highest quality and extensive program of contemporary Italian film available. The ten-day festival will feature the film The Correspondence, starring Jeremy Irons, directed by Oscar winner Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso). Also screening is the late Claudio Caligari’s final work, Don’t Be Bad, Italy’s submission for the 2015 Best Foreign Language Oscar, and Gabriele Mainetti’s gritty superhero anti-blockbuster They Call Me Jeeg, winner of seven David Di Donatello awards. Renowned Italian director Renzo Martinelli, notorious for his incisive investigative films, presents his latest feature, Ustica. The 2016 line-up, with so many dramas and an audience eager to welcome moments of depth, favoured the more personal over the extrovert. However, there is also room for levity: The opening film will be Quo Vado?, the highest-grossing Italian film in box office history. Star Checco Zalone and director Gennaro Nunziante will be present. Among the stars coming to Canada is Italian legend Claudia Cardinale, who starred in such classic films as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Leopard and 8 ½. Cardinale will be conferred ICFF’s ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,’ whose previous recipients include Al Pacino, Oscar winner Roberto Benigni and box office superstar Carlo Verdone. Cardinale will also present her latest film, All Roads Lead to Rome together with her co-star, Raoul Bova. Bova will also present the film Rewind and Reboot (Torno Indietro e Cambio Vita). I have had the privilege of working with a remarkable group of programmers whom I can never thank enough for their dedication and sheer competence: Carlo Coen, shrewd and wise; Mara Cataldi, energetic and passionate; Alberto Diamante, ironic and profound. We’re thrilled to champion these films, and equally excited to provide an opportunity for audiences in a record number of Canadian cities to see them at this ever-growing festival. In this year’s poster, two actors ride a Vespa on the red carpet. This recalls our mission, which is to bring the Italian lifestyle to Canada.