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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.

South Beach Meets Sicily at the 6th Annual Sicilian Film Festival, April 7 to 13, 2011


Salvo Vincent Bitonti (Artistic Director), Laura Delli Colli (Cinema Journalist/Presenter), Franco Nero (Actor), and Emanuele Viscuso (President)

at the Gran Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido, Venice, Italy 

Miami Beach, FL…March 8, 2011…For seven days in April, themercury will rise as South Beach meets Sicily at the 6th Annual Sicilian Film Festival (SFF)April 7 to13, 2011.  The screenings will beheld at the recently inaugurated Miami Beach Cinematheque located at the HistoricCity Hall, 1130 Washington Avenue,Miami Beach, 33139.  It will be afeast for all senses and party for all, showcasing the best of Sicily and Italy:cinema, literature, art, fashion, food and wine, culture, history, and people.

Spearheadedby founder and president, EmanueleViscuso, the SFF has grown from a small festival, developed in only a fewweeks’ time, to the grand event it is today - an internationally recognized filmfestival organized and supported by contributors located around the globe.

 An idea into actionstrengthened through partnership

 Theidea emerged after Viscuso received a request, from the Regione Siciliana (the Sicilian Film Commission) and by theCultural Association, Ragusani nel Mondo, to showcase in Miami the works ofSicilian film directors.  Describing hisvision for the first festival held in 2006, he stated: “Iimagined a kind of festival able to combine films and culture, entertainmentand friendship, information and communication. From that moment real miracles started happening. Incredible supportersappeared magically. Instinctive love and tremendous appreciation for this ideawere revealed by friends and sponsors. Extremely important people andinstitutions offered their help. Many professionals were happy to participatewith their work and sustain. All this happened in a few days.  I can say, I eye witnessed a miracle.”

 Viscuso brings tothe SFF a legacy of artistic contributions. Bornin Palermo, Sicily, he is an artist and a cultural events organizer andpromoter. His most famous piece is the 45 foot large sculpture Wave-Bridge On The Imaginary  located at the Milan Malpensa internationalairport. His activity and international recognition goes from the field of music,design, art, photography, poetry, to architecture, urban planning and socialcauses. He represents private and public cultural institutions. He is also thefounder of the International Festival of Organ Music in the Churches ofthe Historic Princedom of Castelbuono, Sicily. Viscuso has taken part in the EsperiaSTS-120/10A Mission, launched on October 23, 2007 from the NASA’sKennedy Space Centre in Florida as delegate in Florida of Accademia Italianadella Cucina, a Cultural Institution of the Italian Republic. Thanks to hisproposal and support on board the Space Shuttle Discovery, Node 2 - theinterconnecting unit developed in Italy by Thales Alenia Space - and theESA, the Italian Paolo Nespoli and other astronauts started theirjourney towards the International Space Station (ISS) bringingwith them Italian and Sicilian food to offer to the other astronauts on theStation in orbit. The City of Miami Beach, where he has resided since November2000, presented him with the Key tothe City on October 17, 2007 as recognition for his cultural commitmentto the community.

 Salvo Bitonti is now entering his fourth yearas Artistic Director for the SFF.  Bornin Siracusa, Sicily, he is a director, screenwriter and professor of theatreand film direction at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in Turin and atFoggia University. He graduated in Greek drama from BolognaUniversity. He has directed over forty plays in the most important theatresof Italy (Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Teatro Quirino, Rome), aswell as in national (Todi Festival; Magna Grecia Festival, Taranto; BaroqueArts Festival, Genova) and international festivals in Tunisia, France.Spain and Egypt. An experimental director, he has researched the relationshipbetween cinema and theatre, creating performances characterized by the use ofmultimedia on stage. He has also experimented with a contemporaryinterpretation of classical drama, especially Greek tragedy and lyricaltheatre. He collaborates with the National Institute of Greek Drama, inSiracusa. His most notable awards include: Fiuggi Platea Award, as bestdirector; City of Siracusa Theatre Award for his career. He is theauthor of Dioniso & Pirandello (Rome 1999) and has writtenarticles on theatre and cinema for important Italian magazines such as Primafilaand Parol. His short Phaedra, was screenedin many international festivals and at the 2007 Sicilian Film Festival, itwon the award as best short film. His last short is Helen,featuring Franco Nero and MitaMedici was presented in 2009 at the Kodak Theatre, Hollywood, CA during the Los Angeles – Italia Film Festival.

 A masterpiece of creativeingenuity

Featuredfilms will be a selection of Sicily’s finest:

v  L’imbroglio nel lenzuolo (TheTrick in the Sheets): by Alfonso Arau, with MariaGrazia Cucinotta and GeraldineChaplin, et al. 

BriefSynopsis: 1905 -Cinematography has reached Southern Italy and casts fear among the peasants whobelieve it is a devilish trick.  Theycall it “l’imbroglio nel lenzuolo” (the trick in the sheet, as sheets were usedas makeshift projection screens.) Marianna, an illiterate sorceress, finds out that she will be featuredin a 6-minute long movie called “La casta Susanna” (“Chaste Susanna”) who willeither enchant or enrage the audience with a spectacle of her bathing naked ina lake.  Unsure of exactly what acinematographer does, she cannot understand how her own image can be on thescreen and believes that this “double” is someone like her trying to ruin herreputation among the villagers.  “L’imbroglionel lenzuolo” is a sensual comedy that will please all audiences.

v  Viola di mare (The Sea Purple): by Donatella Maiorca, with ValeriaSolarina and Isabella Ragonese. Presented at the Venice Film Festival 2009

BriefSynopsis: Angela,isn’t like the other girls of her same age. She runs, smokes and fears nothing and nobody.  All her feelings are for the young Sara.  A forbidden relationship in a 19thcentury Sicily.  Only a deceit – changingher outward appearance, disguising herself as a man – might be a solution.

v  Fughe e approdi (Return to theAeolian Islands):A documentary by Giovanna Taviani presentedat the Venice Film Festival 2010

BriefSynopsis: Basedon Taviani’s memories, the film documents life of fishermen and quarry workers livingand working in the region surrounding the Aeolian islands during Fascist Italy.

v  Baaria: by Giuseppe Tornatore 

BriefSynopsis: From theacclaimed director of Cinema Paradiso, comes an epic sagaof life and death, love and hatred in a vibrant Sicilian town in the first halfof the twentieth century. This film was nominated for Golden Globe in 2010.

v  Father:by Pasquale Squitieri with Franco Nero and Claudia Cardinale

v L'Uomo di vetro  (Man of Glass):  by Stefano Incerti, with DavideCoco and Tony Sperandeo. Presented at Festivaldes Films du Monde de Montreal 2007 (American Premiere) 

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.


The2011 SFF Official Program will be published on March 15, 2011 and available onthe festival’s website

An intellectual buffet

Film,literature, conversation, and food will converge.

“SicilianCinema's Taste From Leopard to Baarìa” - An evening with recipes ‘stolen’ from thescreen – a lecture by Laura Delli Colli, famous Italiancinema journalist and author of "The Cinema's Taste"  followedby a dinner featuring Sicilian dishes inspired by scenes from LucinoVisconti’s Leopard; GiuseppeTornatore’s Baaria; and DonatellaMaiorca’s Viola di Mare.

A bridge connectingtwo worlds

Through a cooperative effort by the Roberto GranataFoundation and the Sicilian Film Festival, a photographic exhibittitled: “Roberto Granata: Sicilian Photographer  in Hollywood” will bring a touch of Hollywood glamour toSouth Florida.  The display is acollection of Granata’s portraits of favorite celebrities such as: Anne Hathaway, Andie MacDowell, Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, and IsabellaRossellini.  Granata’s Foundation helps to support orphanedchildren in areas of the world that have been struck by earthquakes.

April7, 2011 will be declared “Sicilian Film Festival Day”by the City of Miami Beach.  Inspeaking about the 2010 SFF, Matti Herrera Bower, Mayor of Miami Beach,stated: “We recognize that through theatre, music and art, and love, boundariesare traversed and all nations learn to share each other’s works and get tounderstand and appreciate their different cultures. I believe [the SicilianFilm Festival] does a great deal for international relations.”

The evening will bring a ‘red carpet affair’presenting directors and actors from each of the films including:  Giovanna Taviani, Pasquale Squitieri,Franco Nero, Claudia Cardinale, Valeria Solarino, IsabellaRagonese, Donatella Maiorca, and Giuseppe Tornatore.

With the generous support of many and through avariety of presentations and events, the 6th Sicilian Film Festival will offereveryone an affordable, but stylish cultural experience served South Beachstyle!


TheSicilian Film Festival, 6th Edition

April7 – 13


at the MiamiBeach Cinematheque located at:

HistoricCity Hall, South Side, Ground Floor

1130Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139



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