2017 The Italian Contemporary Film Festival

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Words by Roxanne Rowe Gural

TORONTO, ONT – The Italian Contemporary Film Festival in Toronto has now passed the five-year threshold festivals are said to require before they are recognized as a permanent feature.  This year’s #ICFF17 has lots of variety in the daily movies as well as “In Conversation” special guest appearances of Producers, Directors and Actors.

From the Opening Night Gala at Ricarda’s Restaurant on Peter Street (which offered a very tasty Italian spread) to the participating theatres, an exciting “buona visione” can be heard.  Movie lovers are flocking to the TIFF Bell Lighthouse and Cineplex in Vaughan to catch a glimpse of movies significant to Italian culture, both in English and Italian with subtitles.

A revival presentation and discussion of an old movie “Marriage Italian Style” is introduced by the son of late Director Vittorio Di Sica for interesting behind the scene stories.  He shared stories about a young Sophia Loren.

David Rocco’s “Dolce Napoli” offers a sneak preview of his upcoming series on TLN as he shares impromptu conversation, music, travel and, of course — Italian food.  Lots to learn and lots of fun, as the unscripted, undirected series proves that you never know who may drop in or what will happen next.  In one episode, he explains the high level of soccer in Napoli culture.  One man memorably states that his order of importance is “First soccer, then my Mamma, then my children and then my wife…”

But one of the most moving, beautifully filmed productions has to be “The Space Between”.  In this Italian-Australian co-production about the loss of a beloved friend followed by the discovery of new love, the lead characters find themselves at life changing cross roads.

There is still time to catch a film or two before it wraps with the Closing Ceremony on Friday at the Ritz Carlton.

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Steve Blackburn

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