From March, 1st to 5th the South Kensington Ciné Lumière cinema will host the seventh edition of London’s annual celebration of Italian cinema excellencies, Cinema Made in Italy. The festival is organized by Istituto Luce Cinecittà and the Italian Institute of Culture in London and takes to the UK the first preview of some of the most exciting, moving and inspiring recent Italian productions. This year line-up will comprise nine new feature films, plus the recently restored version of Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 masterpiece The Battle of the Algiers.
Most of the films have been chosen by critic and festival selector Maurizio Di Rienzo, while the other have been selected by Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London.
Each screening is followed by Q&A sessions, offering audiences the chance to talk directly with the filmmakers.
7 Minuti (7 Minutes) directed by Michele Placido
Following a takeover, the new owner of an Italian textile plant, asks the factory workers to give up 7 minutes of their daily break in order to preserve their colleagues’ job in the factory. Through the hopes and memories that make up the stories of a group of women working in factory Placido skillfully explores group dynamics, as well as labor vs capital ones.
Le Confessioni (The Confessions) directed by Roberto Andò
The mystery thriller, which is a nominee for Karlovy Vary Film Festival’s Crystal Globe, centers on a simple monk upsetting the dynamics of a G8 meeting after he receives the confession of the director of the International Monetary Fund who is subsequently found dead.
Andò commenting the film said: “I was very attracted to this monk and the chance to let him meet these people and see what happens. I saw him as a real character who explores this world that pretends to be rational, that pretends to be truthful and pretends to take responsibility.”
In guerra per amore (At war for love) directed by Pierfrancesco Diliberto
A dramatic comedy with a historical setting described as “Forest Gump landing in Sicily” by CineEuropa. The touching comedy has already won plaudits at last year’s Rome Film Festival.
In 1943 Arturo is in love with Flora, who is promised to the son of a New York mafia boss. The girl’s father lives in a small town in Sicily, and to ask his permission for his daughter’s hand in marriage in person, Arturo’s only option is to enlist in the US army, which is preparing to travel to the island to fight Nazi fascism.
Orecchie (Ears) directed by Alessandro Aronadio
A man wakes up one morning with an annoying ringing sound in his ears and a note on the fridge says: “Your friend Luigi has died. P.S. I took the car.” The problem is that he does not even remember who this guy Luigi is. This is just the beginning of the almost surreal day that will change his life forever.
For Aronadio his film is the story of a nameless man who, through various meetings, gathers pieces of his self-image puzzle. It is about that ringing in the ears that every day we try to ignore by hiding it beneath life. Like dust under a carpet.
Pericle il nero (Pericle the black) directed by Alessandro Aronadio
Aronadio’s is a noir film with a tight rhythm and a plot which never misses a beat. The protagonist of the story, Pericle, finds himself stuck in a situation in which two rival underworld bosses want to skin him alive and during his escape he meets a woman who lets him into her home. He starts a relationship with her which gradually turns into real affection. This will be a chance for him to grow, to become self-aware by refusing to follow the rules of his world.
Il più grande sogno (I was a dreamer) directed by Michele Vannucci
A nominee for the Best Film award at Venice Film Festival, this film is close to reality, authentic and innovative. It tells the story of a dream that gives a new future to a man who believed he didn’t even deserve a present. After 8 years in prison, the protagonist is looking for a fresh start with the aim to win back the love and respect of his family and he grabs on to the opportunity given to him when he gets elected president of his neighborhood association. It is an inspirational rehabilitation journey that depicts all the difficulties faced during the process of regaining the trust of people even after all dues have been paid.
SLAM – Tutto per una ragazza (SLAM – All for a girl) directed by Andrea Molaioli
A slam is a hard fall in skateboarding. 16-year-old skateboarding obsessive Samuele is forced to grow up fast when his girlfriend reveals she is pregnant. Turning to a skateboarding legend – and his imaginary friend – for advice, Sam is thrown into different versions of his future in order to make the right decisions in his present.
Based on the successful novel by British writer Nick Hornby and set in the mold of Sliding Doors, SLAM is Molaioli’s first feature film.
Le Ultime Cose (Pawn Street), directed by Irene Dionisio
In Turin the stories of three people bringing their belongings to a pawn shop intertwine unconsciously in the thin line of moral debt.
Dionisio, who is also a documentary filmmaker, succeeds in rendering an honest account the many lives effected by an economic crisis that brings people to pawn their most cherished belongings.
Vangelo (Gospel) directed by Pippo Delbono
Delbono is a stage director who visits a refugee center. Little by little, the refugees open their hearts to the director and tell him their stories, some of which will be in this film. In the end, the idea is to portray the refugees’ gospel.
Delbono commented that Vangelo is a film that he created around and with people in transit, waiting to find out if they can stay or if they have to go to God knows where. He considers himself a traveler, and it is from that point of view that he put the stories together.