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KPBS Midday Edition

San Diego Italian Film Festival Launches 11th Season At MOPA

Real life twin sisters Angela and Marianna Fontana play conjoined twins Daisy and Viola in the film "Indivisibili," screening on Oct. 13 at the San Diego Italian Film Festival.
Art Film
Real life twin sisters Angela and Marianna Fontana play conjoined twins Daisy and Viola in the film "Indivisibili," screening on Oct. 13 at the San Diego Italian Film Festival.

Festival kicks off 12 days of features and documentaries

San Diego Italian Film Festival Launches 11th Season At MOPA
GUESTS: Antonio Iannotta, San Diego Italian Film Festival artistic director Beth Accomando, KPBS arts reporter

This is KPBS Midday Edition I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. It's a week for form postbubble's -- for film festivals. It marks the beginning of the San Diego Italian Film Festival. The San Diego Italian Film Festival celebrates its 11th year with an opening night documentary at the Museum of photographic arts in Balboa Park. We get a preview of the festival with its artistic director. The San Diego Italian film Festival kicks off tonight. You're going to be having a documentary that has a lot of attention. Tells about it. It is "Fuocoammare" caught fire at the sea. The first to win the Berlin film Festival. We're excited to have this movie to open our 11th edition of our Festival. After the movie we're going to have a panel about the refugee crisis. And the migration situation in Italy. It's an important topic for us. Also an important topic for our community here in San Diego. Let's hear a little of the trailer for fire in seat which looks in part to the dangers see crossing made by migrant -- migrants. Difficulty crossing. How many people? Small children. That was fire at sea. The film kicking off the San Diego Italian Film Festival at the Museum of photographic arts. It seems like it's an appropriate film because it looks as refugees as a global problem and something San Diego has concerns over. It's a global issue. It's important to have a public discourse on it. For us, starting from this year, we returned to focus a lot more about issues that are important, not just for Italian culture today, but for global issues. Issues important for the San Diego community, and for the United States in general. This is the perfect failed to start. You are bringing some film acres out for the films, and coming up with my country, and tiramisu for two. You will have film acres that have a new focus for Italian American farmworkers. Italian-American -- Italian-American film acres and independent. These are independent films from three young directors, all of them are Italian-American. The films are independent movies. This is a big first step toward that direction. We want to open a section of our Festival two independent productions. We're going to open submissions for short movies in the near future. So film acres from San Diego, California all over the states, can produce something that has an Italian are Italian-American theme. If people have never come to your Festival before, what can they expect? Are these films new films? Retrospective? Thank you for this question. This is one of our missions. We know everyone knows Italian films, the very big important directors from the past. We love them so much. But, our mission is to have current contemporary movies. Just with a one-year gap, it's like you're in Rome, Milan, Naples, you go to the movies and you watch the movies that are there. to our community here in San Diego, it's a special possibility to see what's going on today in contemporary film in Italy. A key component of Italian culture is food. You have a gala on the weekend coming up. Explain what those are like. Our gala are very fun events. We do lots of incredible food. Great wine. The best gelato in town. And incredible music. Plus we have a movie. It's not sold out. The theme this year, I am told list -- I am totally biased because I'm from a small town near Naples, the theme is from Naples with love. Going to have a menu built around Neapolitan food. Probably one of the best cuisine we have in Italy. We're going to have Neapolitan music thanks to a singer who lives here in San Diego. After that were going to have a comedy set in Naples. The theme is about one of the most important cities in Italy, especially for cinema. After Rome, Naples is the major city where we have incredible movies. Another thing your Festival does well is having discussion and fostering discussion after a film. On October 11 you have them in a single which will have a panel. What is that about? It's a build -- a film about feminism. It's another documentary, very well done. It focuses on Italian feminism history. We're going to have another panel, moderated with some experts on American feminism history. It's another great opportunity, and Italian perspective. And opening up to discussion that is meaningful for everyone. We start with the migration, the refugee crisis movie, and then we focus on the female condition that is another huge issue and topic today for this country. Are there any other films you want to highlight? Do you have a favorite? I have two favorites. One is called like crazy. The other is Indivisibili. It is a great movie set in the outskirts of Naples. With the powerful soundtrack, great theme. To twins who are singers. Let's hear a bit of those twin sisters singing. [ Music ] That was some of the music from Indivisibili. After that -- After that were going to have a conversation. It's a very important date and possibility for the community here. That's an interesting film because not only are they twins but they are conjoined twins. Thank you, could say that word. Thank you for talking with us about the Italian film Festival. Let's go out with some of the music from Indivisibili. Thank you very much. That was Beth Accomando speaking with the artistic director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival. The film Festival runs through October 15 at the Museum of photographic arts in Balboa Park. Beth will be part of a Postville discussion on October 13.

The San Diego Italian Film Festival launches its 11th season Wednesday night at the Museum of Photographic Arts with the documentary "Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea)."

"Fuocoammare" takes place in Lampedusa, a remote Mediterranean island that has become a major entry point for refugees into Europe. The film shows how thousands of refugees risk their lives to make the brutal crossing from Africa. Filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi tries to foster a new understanding of what's happening in the region in terms of this migrant crisis.

Festival artistic director Antonio Iannotta pointed out that the film is "an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature and the first nonfiction film to ever win the top prize at the Berlin International Film Festival."

"After the film we are also going to have a panel about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and migration situation in Italy," Iannotta said. "This is a very important topic for us but also a very important topic for our community here in San Diego."

A new focus for the festival this year is on independent and Italian American films. Two films represent this focus, "My Country" and "Tiramisu for Two."

San Diego Italian Film Festival Trailer

On Saturday the festival hosts its annual gala. This year the theme is "From Naples With Love" so the food, music and films being screened are all centered around Naples.

Two other screenings with post-film panels are "Femminismo!," a documentary about the feminist movement in Italy with a post-film discussion led by Rebecca Romani on Oct. 11, and "Indivisibili," a drama about conjoined twin singers that will be followed by a panel of movie podcasters including Yazdi Pithavala, Miguel Rodriguez and myself.

Most of the film screenings take place at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. The three exceptions are "Loro Chi?" at La Paloma, "Leoni" at the Fleet Science Center, and an encore of "Loro Chi?" at the San Diego Natural History Museum.