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Sicilian Film Fest Miami


Celebrating its sixth year, Sicilian Cinema has made a name for itself thanks to the Sicilian Film Festival (SFF). The seven-day Festival was created in Miami in 2006 by the Sicilian-born sculptor, musician, writer, and designer Emanuele Viscuso. Now residing in Miami Beach, Viscuso seeks to underline the importance of Sicily, its cinema, literature, art, food and wine, fashion, and culture on an international platform.
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Sicilian Film Festival, 6th Edition, Miami Beach Announces New Addition to its Film Lineup

Filmfever has yet to end in Miami!  With theclosing of the Miami International FilmFestival, film buffs can continue feeding their passion for the ‘Big Screen’at the 6th Annual Sicilian Film Festival (SFF) on April 7 to 13, 2011 at the MiamiBeach Cinematheque, located at the HistoricCity Hall, 1130 Washington Avenue,Miami Beach, 33139.

ArtisticDirector, Salvo Bitonti todayannounced the addition of the highly-acclaimed film, “Legend of the Bandit and the Champion.  Loosely, based on a book by Marco Ventura, the film was written by AndreaPurgatori and Deborah Alessi and co-produced by RaiFiction and Film Red.  The title alsoinspired a well-known Italian song by FrancescoDe Gregori who embraces this cherished story about the love for cycling in1920s and its effect upon a hero/bandit who live his life as an Italian styleRobin Hood.

In discussingthe 2011 SFF lineup, Bitonti states: “Sicily and Southern Italy have alwaysbeen linked to the United States through a deep, cinematic relationship betweenHollywood and Sicily that includes many great actors and directors whooriginate from Sicily and southern Italy such as Valentino, Capra, Scorsese,Coppola, and Susan Sarandon.  We are veryproud to showcase a new generation of Italian directors as well as many othergreat full-length and short films from Italy and other countries.”

The2011 Sicilian Film Festival Lineup Includes:

v Baaria: by Giuseppe Tornatore; 2009; Presented at the Venice Film Festival 2009 in Italian with English subtitles

Brief Synopsis: From the acclaimed director of CinemaParadiso, comes an epic saga of life and death, love and hatred in avibrant Sicilian town in the first half of the twentieth century. This film wasnominated for Golden Globe in 2010.

v Viola di mare (The Sea Purple): byDonatella Maiorca, with Valeria Solarina and Isabella Ragonese. Presentedat the Venice Film Festival 2009;  awarded in many international festivals

Brief Synopsis: Angela isn’t like the other girlsof her same age.  She runs, smokes andfears nothing and nobody.  All of herfeelings are for the young Sara.  Aforbidden relationship set in a 19th century Sicily.  Only a deceit – changing her outwardappearance, disguising herself as a man – might be a solution.

The Vanishing of Pato by Rocco Mortelliti, with NinoFrassica and Neri Marcore; 2010;in Italian with English subtitles , Italy 2010 ( American Premiere)

Brief Synopsis: Vigata, 1890, Good Friday - Inthe town square, the “Mortorio”, the Passion of Christ, is being reenacted

withthe uptight, irreproachable manager of the local branch of theTrinacria Bank, Antonio Patò who plays the part of Judas.The reenactment arrives at its climax with the hanging ofJudas-Patò who, accompanied by the spectators’ insults, falls out of sightthrough a special trapdoor. However, at the end of the show, Patò seems to havedisappeared. Through the investigations, the interrogations, and a series offlashbacks that bring to life a kaleidoscope of characters, customs, andimmoral behavior that are extremely superficial, a surprising and unexpectedpicture of Sicily and all of Italy emerges.

 

v L’imbroglionel lenzuolo (The Trick in the Sheets): by Alfonso Arau, with MariaGrazia Cucinotta and GeraldineChaplin, et al. ; 2009; in Italian with English subtitles

Brief Synopsis: 1905 - Cinematography has reachedSouthern Italy and casts fear among the peasants who believe it is a devilishtrick.  They call it “l’imbroglio nellenzuolo” (the trick in the sheet, as sheets were used as makeshift projectionscreens.)  Marianna, an illiteratesorceress, finds out that she will be featured in a 6-minute long movie called“La casta Susanna” (“Chaste Susanna”) who will either enchant or enrage theaudience with a spectacle of her bathing naked in a lake.  Unsure of exactly what a cinematographerdoes, she cannot understand how her own image can be on the screen and believesthat this “double” is someone like her trying to ruin her reputation among thevillagers.  “L’imbroglio nel lenzuolo” isa sensual comedy that will please all audiences.

v L'Uomo di vetro  (Man of Glass):  by Stefano Incerti, with DavideCoco and Tony Sperandeo. Presented at Festival desFilms du Monde de Montreal 2007 (American Premiere) ; in Italian withEnglish subtitles

BriefSynopsis: L'Uomodi vetro is based on SalvatoreParlagreco’s book with the same name and inspired by Leonardo Vitale,the first Mafia pentito (turncoat) to break the wall ofsilence that was preventing the Sicilian magistracy from penetrating the Mafia.Vitale paid for this choice with imprisonment; years in a forensicpsychiatric hospital; and finally with his life - the Mafia did not hesitate tokill him as soon as he was released.  However, this film is also aboutfreedom of conscience and about having the strength to go against everyone toassert your freedom even if it means going against your roots, your friends andfamily. It is about the struggle of an antihero, who is partly the victim, andpartly guilty.

v Fatherby Pasquale Squitieri with Franco Nero and Claudia Cardinale; in Italian with English subtitles

Brief Synopsis: Philadelphia – Enrico, a humble fifty year old shoemanufacturer of Sicilian origin is raising his seventeen year old, motherlessson.  He is an admirable man andattentive father and often tells Mark stories about his family who as poorimmigrants left Sicily to pursue a fortune in the New World.  This moving story is characterized by theunfailing presence of the ‘enemy’ – the Mafia. One day the ‘enemy’ seriously wounds Enrico and Mark, upset and out ofhate for Mafia, kills the boss.  Marklater discovers that his own father intentionally set him up so that Enrico canbecome the new boss.

v  IlSorteggio (The Draw):  by Giacomo Campiotti, with Beppe Fiorello, Gioia Spaziani,GiorgioFaletti; 2010; Italian with English subtitles (American Premiere)

Brief Synopsis: Turin, 1977 - the years of terrorism.Tonino is a factory worker in the power press department of Fiat Mirafioriplant. He leads a modest yet dignified life and shares a passion for dancingwith his girlfriend. Tonino is looking for a social and economic redemption.His life changes completely when he is drawn to be a jury member on the RedBrigades’ trial. Tonino, aware of the danger deriving from this assignment andtaken aback by the jury members’ hemorrhage threatening the trial, must make a decision which willnevertheless profoundly change his existence.

v TheLegend of the Bandit and the Champion by LodovicoGasparini, with Giuseppe Fiorello,Simone Gandolfo, Raffaella Rea; Fiction, Red Film;  2010; in Italian with English subtitles (AmericanPremiere)

Brief Synopsis:  Therole of the bicycle looms large in Italy of the 1920's which is still a poorcountry made up of people who work the land. Costante and Sante are from thetown of Novi Ligure, and both ride their bicycle for countless miles on thedirt roads of foggy northern Italy. While Costante becomes a bicycle racingchampion, Sante commits robberies on his bike making him the two-wheeled ‘RobinHood’ – his crimes eventually force him to flee to France to escape arrest.Both the champion and the bandit sweat out their existence:  one in duels with racing opponents and theother always on the run from the police. Circumstances will bring the two backtogether in Paris at the very moment when the Bandit might be caught or killed atthe same moment when the Champion is preparing to face his French  archrival.

v Fughee approdi (Return to the Aeolian Islands): A documentary by Giovanna Taviani presented at the Venice Film Festival 2010; in Italian with English subtitles  (American Premiere)

Brief Synopsis: Based on Taviani’s memories, thefilm documents life of fishermen and quarry workers living and working in theregion surrounding the Aeolian islands during Fascist Italy.

Queer Frame andAtlantide Entertainment in cooperation with the Sicilian Film Festival present:

v FromBeginning to Endby Aluisio Abranches with Julia Lemmertz, Fabio Assuncao, and Jean PierreNoher;  2009; in Portuguese withItalian subtitles

BriefSynopsis: Twobrothers develop a very close relationship as they are growing up in an idyllicand happy family. When they are young adults their relationship becomes veryintimate, romantic, and sexual.

v SaveMe by Robert Cary with Jeremy Glazer, Chad Allen,and David Petruzzi; 2007; in Englishwith Italian subtitles

Brief Synopsis: A sex and drug addicted young manis forced into a Christian-run ministry in an attempt to cure him of his"gay affliction" where, instead, he is faced with the truth withinhis heart and spirit.

These titles alongwith film shorts and documentary films will be presented in the 2011 SFFOfficial Program and Schedule are available on the festival’s website www.sicilianfilmfestival.com

Additional Events(schedule to be announced shortly)

OtherSFF week events will include: at Vinoe Olio (Design District) aKick-Off Party’ and exhibition titled, “Roberto Granata:Sicilian Photographer In Hollywood” – photo portraits of Hollywood andItaly’s most famous celebrities; plus at the Café Milano (Miami Beach),  Sicilian Cinema’s Taste from Leopard toBaaria – an evening with recipes ‘stolen’ from the screenhosted by Laura Delli Colli, famous Italian cinema journalist andauthor of The Cinema’s Taste.”  

Aboutthe Sicilian Film Festival

Celebratingits sixth year, Sicilian Cinema has made a name for itself thanks to theSicilian Film Festival (SFF).  The seven-day Festival was created inMiami in 2006 by the Sicilian-born sculptor, musician, writer, and designer Emanuele Viscuso. Now residing in MiamiBeach, Viscuso seeks to underline the importance of Sicily, its cinema,literature, art, food and wine, fashion, and culture on an internationalplatform.

The SFF has created renewed pride, not only among Sicilians, but all Italiansliving around the world. It is the first organization to showcase:

  • Sicily's importance in film production (it is second in Italy, after Rome, in producing movies);
  • some of the best Italian directors including Sicilian, Giuseppe Tornatore who won an Oscar for Cinema Paradiso;
  • Hollywood stars of Sicilian origin such as Frank Sinatra, Vincente Minnelli, Martin Scorsese, Frank Capra, Susan Sarandon, Cindy Lauper, Sylvester Stallone,  and Joseph Barbera;
  • the impressive number of international directors who have chosen Sicily as a site for shooting their movies.

 

As anenormous number of Sicilians and Sicilian descendants throughout the world aretired of the unjust association of their name with the Mafia, they hope to finda new cultural identity. Through Viscuso’s efforts, the Sicilian Film Festivalhas successfully achieved the correct formula where many people canunite in one project.

While based primarily in Miami, the SFFholds events in both US and other cities worldwide. An officialproclamation of a Sicilian Film Festival Day in 2007 recognized the culturalimpact the Festival has had upon the City of Miami. When presentingEmanuele Viscuso with a Key to the City, Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower said, “We appreciate theefforts of this Festival in bringing the Sicilian culture to the fore andsharing the beauty and life of Sicily with the people of Miami and the U.S.A.Through theater, music, art, and love, boundaries are traversed and all nationslearn to share each others works and get to understand and appreciate differentcultures.” 

In addition, the Italian region of Sicily bestowed upon Viscuso, the specialhonor of “Sicilians in the World:Ambassador of Culture” as a sign of its support of his efforts inestablishing the Festival. This honor was received along with seventeenother people of Sicilian origin who represent different vocations and facets ofSicilian culture. Now, thanks to the efforts of the Sicilian Film Festival,Sicilian artists, both known and emerging, have a thriving opportunity in MiamiBeach to display their genius to the world.

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