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Press release


The 21st Edition of the Italian Film Focus will take place from the 25th to the 30th March online. The event is promoted by Controluce and the Embassies of Italy in Pretoria, Lusaka and Harare,as well as the Consulate General of Italy in Johannesburg, the Consulate of Italy in Cape Town and the Italian Institute of Culture in Pretoria.
For the first time, this edition will be a regional event and will be available to a much larger public in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The online streaming will allow the public to safely and comfortably enjoy the 12 Italian films how, when and where they want.

A high-quality selection of films will be available, showcasing the variety of genres and themes that characterizes Italian cinema. Eleven films presented in the most prestigious international festivals in the last season have been selected and one would be a tribute to celebrate Federico Fellini 100 years from his birth.
The programme also includes live interactions with film directors each day at 6 pm.

  • The Italian Film Focus will be launched on Thursday 25 March at 6 pm with the award-winning film Hidden Away (Volevo Nascondermi) by Giorgio Diritti, whose protagonist Elio Germano won the award for best actor at the Berlin 2021 festival. It is the story of a great Italian self-taught painter, Ligabue, continuously balancing between genius and madness. The director will present the film with a live introduction and participate in the Q&A.
  • Director Mauro Mancini will present the film Thou Shalt Not Hate (Non Odiare) with the acclaimed actor and director Alessandro Gassmann. It is a raw story that delves deeply into the dark soul of Italy and of the characters, where punishment, vengeance and redaction, victims and murderers are being confused.
  • Then it will be the turn of Stolen Days (Ladro di Giorni), introduced by the director Guido Lombardi. It is an on-the-road film where a drug delivery becomes a journey of difficult knowledge between the prevaricating figure of a delinquent father, played with effective harshness by Riccardo Scamarcio, and his son. A relationship that seems impossible, but which ultimately finds its reason in love.
  • KIDZ (I Figli) are also, sometimes involuntarily, the leading protagonists of the homonymous first feature film, shot with the inventive and precise skills of the director Giuseppe Bonito who will present the film on Sunday 28. The couple’s amusing ordeal in the face of the physical and emotional “impertinence” of their children is masterfully scripted by the skilled pen of regret of Mattia Torre.
  • In Hammamet it is the chameleonic actor Pierfrancesco Favino, winner of the Volpi Cup in Venice 2020, to animate the story of rigorous director Gianni Amelio, who for the first time is confronted with politics, its impulses and falls, portraying former Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi’s memories and grievances from his Tunisian exile.
  • The plot of Mrs Marx is marked by the great story of Karl Marx’s daughter Eleanor, seen through the woman gaze of the director and the protagonist with an impeccable staging set in the early XIX Century.
  • In Romantic Guide to Lost Places (Guida romantica a posti perduti) the journey becomes once more a condition of encounter and confrontation in a decidedly more intimate story, but again between two figures that are marginalized in their own way, with two splendid actors such as Jasmine Trinca and Clive Owen.
  • Illness and its least predictable challenges accompany the story of Everything’s Gonna Be Alright (Cosa sarà) by the acclaimed screenwriter and director Francesco Bruni. It is a film where autobiography happily meets fiction, with Kim Rossi Stuart who knows how to convey fear and courage of those who see the world fall upon them.
  • Women in love or who would desperately like to be in love shake the calm waters of an Italian seaside town in Ace of Hearts (Burraco fatale), a comedy with a first-rate female cast starring Claudia Gerini.
  • A column of Italian brilliant comedy could not be missing: Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo, engaged in Massimo Venier’s film I Hate Summer (Odio l’Estate). Sometimes holidays become more tiring and stressful than everyday life, especially when sharing a house with strangers, but humans are social animals, and therefore always find inventive solutions…
  • Last of contemporary productions, the work, or rather a collection/montage of one of the most versatile Italian directors, Gabriele Salvatores, Oscar winner in 1992 with Mediterraneo. It Was Spring Outside (Fuori era primavera) showcases splendidly the love Italians feel for their country. Thousands of testimonies and little stories that Salvatores manages to amalgamate, with sensitivity and style, into a single and touching story.
  • A great classic will add up to the selection, to celebrate the three-time Oscar winner Federico Fellini on the centenary of his birth: Juliet of the Spirits (Giulietta degli Spiriti), with the director’s wife, Giulietta Masina portraying the visions, memories, and mysticism of a middle-aged woman in her gradual path towards self-confidence and independence.

Now, set the clock to reserve your seat in time (first1000 are free) and enjoy the movies!
Website, for bookings, information on the films and the programme.
Bookings open online on 24 March at 10am @ $3.50; first 1000 tickets are for free, Users will have to choose the country from which they intend to connect in order to be directed to the relative geo-localized room. The package includes access to all 12 films for 5 days.
Live events with take place with directors every day at 6pm.