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‘Italian perspective’: Film festival includes 3 movies screened at Cannes last year

The New Mexico Italian Film & Culture Festival continues to grow in its 12th year.

The event will feature three films that screened at Festival de Cannes in 2018.

“The films are our focus, and the film selection committee and our wonderful chair did some great research in getting the films,” says Maria Arancio Berry, president and director of marketing and promotion for the festival. “The films are some of the best that we’ve ever had. Many of these films will be shown for the first time in New Mexico. It’s something different for Italian film aficionados.”

A scene from “Benedetta follia/Blessed Madness,” the opening-night film for the New Mexico Italian Film & Culture Festival. (Courtesy of Film Italia)

The festival’s opening-night comedy begins at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 when “Benedetta follia/Blessed Madness” screens. It stars renowned director, Carlo Verdone, in the story of Guglielmo, a religious man and faithful husband who gets dumped by his wife of 25 years. In an effort to forget her, he signs up on an internet dating app and embarks on a hilarious learning curve about modern-day dating and relationships.

“Come un gatto in tangenziale/Like a Cat on a Highway,” which also screened at Cannes, is the tale of Monica and Giovanni, parents from different socio-economic worlds who are awkwardly brought together when their young teenagers begin dating each other.

Completing the list of Cannes market screenings and premieres in the festival lineup is “Io c’è/Just Believe,” a comedy starring Italy’s top actress, Margherita Buy, that charms and tickles with the story of Massimo, who transforms his bed-and-breakfast into a place of worship and invents a new religion.

The other films that will be screened are:

• Alessandro and Giorgio in “Tutto quello che vuoi/Everything You Want,” which follows young Giorgio, who forms an unlikely bond with elderly poet, Alessandro, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

• “Questione di karma/It’s All About Karma,” tells the story of Giacomo, the last heir of an industrial dynasty. But after the untimely death of his father, Giacomo prefers to live as a dreamer.

• In “Guerra per amore/At War With Love,” a tender love story set in 1943, when Allied forces landed in Sicily.

• In “Finché c’è prosecco c’è speranza/The Last Prosecco,” audiences will find mystery and an environmental message.

A bonus film, “Cucinì … il documentario,” will screen at 3:45 p.m. March 16. It explores the flavors, smells and colors of the Neapolitan gastronomic traditions through the eyes of five Neapolitan chefs.

“There’s a saying in Italian – ‘tutto il mondo è paese’ – used to express the concept that the world is the same wherever you go,” Arancio Berry says. ” These

films really capture that point. They are timely cinematic commentaries on universal issues and topics of today – all from an engaging Italian perspective.”

A full schedule can be found at


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