Italy is the longtime home of a diverse and vibrant filmmaking community. The 42nd Denver Film Festival is pleased to present nine new Italian works—seven narrative features and two documentaries—from established and emerging directors. Included among them are The Invisible Witness by Stefano Mordini—the 2019 recipient of the Maria & Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award—and the latest from Marco Bellocchio and Roberto Ando, recipient of the 2014 Italian Filmmaker Award. The Spotlight on Italian Cinema is presented by the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, Anna Maglione-Sie Endowment in Italian Culture University of Denver, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Chicago, University of Denver College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Languages & Literatures, and DC Pie CO.
The city in which a film is set is often referred to as a character in its own right. This documentary aims to explore that concept, reflecting on the art of cinema in relation to its environment. With appearances by Wim Wenders, David Lynch, and Bernardo Bertolucci, among others.
At 75, Italian professor, feminist, and former supermodel Benedetta Barzini is ready to escape the male gaze by withdrawing from the world. She fantasizes about moving to a remote island—just as her filmmaker-son begins making this intimate, often contentious documentary.
Taking place within a single room during a three-hour pre-trial strategy session, this juicy Italian murder mystery unfolds in the competing flashbacks of the rich and powerful suspect who swears he’s innocent and the woman who doubts him but swears equally to defend him in court.
At the center of this grimly quiet Italian drama, set on the fringes of society, are an unnamed man and woman who rarely venture into the sunlight, instead spending their nights working—he in the market, she on the streets. Until, that is, their nascent relationship sparks an act of violence.
It’s the day before Mauro’s funeral, yet his widow can't shed a tear, his son is preparing for TV interviews in hopes of impressing his crush at the memorial, and his father and brother are at blows in this Italian hybrid of dark comedy and affecting family drama.
In this sweet comedy from Italy, single father Gabriele is thrilled to have a second chance at romance when the one who got away, Mara, returns home after years of travel. There’s only one problem: She loathes children. How long can he keep her in the dark about his beloved daughter Sofia?
Elia is the sole resident of Provvidenza, his only company being his memories of life in the village before an earthquake destroyed it and killed his wife. Now he’s being forced from his home just as he’s becoming convinced she’s trying to contact him from beyond in this touching Italian drama.
Acclaimed screenwriter Alessandro is struggling to usher his latest project into production. After all, he hasn’t penned a single word—and his ghostwriter, Valeria, is relying on a mysterious Mafia source for content. This Italian film within a film combines drama, thriller, and satire.
For all its extravagance, this engrossing spectacle of a drama is based on a true story: the life of Tommaso Buscetta, a made man turned informant whose collaboration with the Italian government led to a seven-year trial that toppled the Casa Nostra in the 1980s.