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Third Annual San Diego Italian Film Festival

Too Many Festivals!

Above: "The Second Wedding Night"

The San Diego Italian Film Festival kicks off its third year on October 16 and will run through November 7. With the exception of the November 6 screening, all films will be shown at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

II love film festivals but am always torn when two festivals compete head to head for my attention. AAARGH! I want to be in two places at once. The San Diego Italian Film Festival may be the new kid on the block but it has a long film heritage to draw on. The festival is also one where discussion seems to hold almost as much importance as seeing the films. So the festival is always a lively, intelligent, fun event with some great film selections.

According to the press release: "The festival provides an opportunity for all Italians and lovers of Italian culture to rediscover passion, love, and the best flavors of life in this season’s festival. The celebration begins on October 16 at the Museum of Photographic Art in Balboa Park, with a retrospective of the early works of director Paolo Virzì, who is considered to be one of the most talented film directors working in Italy today. The four films will be shown over two weekends, and all are in Italian with English subtitles: 'La bella vita (Living it Up),' 'Ferie d’Agosto (August Vacation),' 'Ovosodo (Hardboiled Egg),' and 'My Name is Tanino.'

The festival continues with a week-long schedule of unique and special film screening every evening from October 31 to November 5 at MoPA. On Halloween the festival screens 'Notte Blue Cobalto (Cobalt Blue Night)' taking us to a Baroque Sicilian city after hours and a young man’s spooky explorations of Catania. The festival week continues with a series of award-winning San Diego premieres, all popular in Italian box-offices and film festival circuits. The films are drawn from a variety of genres, and tell stories of love, hate, relationships, work, identity and food – all the passion of life."

That's a tasty and tempting line up. On November 6, the festival will hold a special evening at the Birch North Park Theater with a screening of "La vera leggenda di Tony Vilar (The True Legend of Tony Vilar)," Shot as an MTV-like mockumentary, the film follows the search for a lost icon, the Argentine crooner Tony Vilar, who disappeared from the scene in the 60’s. The film’s Director, Giuseppe Gagliardi, will present introductory remarks for his film. Then on November 7, the festival will hold its annual gala with good food complementing the good film and good talk.

I regret not having seen any of the films in advance of the festival but if the past two years are any indication of what this year is serving up, then you can't really go wrong with any of the selections.

So get a taste of Italy with the San Diego Italian Film Festival.

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