The Cinema Italiano Festival is about to hit Auckland and we are all very excited about it.
This is the second edition organized by you and your wife Renee Mark, and I want to thank you, on behalf of the Italian Community and Kiwis who love and support Italian culture, for making it possible.
Grazie a voi, e un piacere. It’s a pleasure, after all it’s rare not to enjoy cinema.
1) When did you decide to take on the challenge of organising this festival?
I had dreamed of being involved in an Italian Festival of film for over fifteen years. When attending Film Festivals overseas as a filmmaker over the years I became very interested in the value of Festivals themselves. Having been involved with the old NZ Italian Film Festival run by Tony Lambert, when it ceased to exist after 2014, I immediately knew I had to do something. As an Italo-Kiwi living in NZ, Italian Cinema had always been a way for me to keep connected to some of the ideas and the cultural climate of Italy from afar. It feels to me like it was meant to be and with my wife Renee (the brains behind the enterprise) it became a reality.
2) Tell us something about the movies you have selected this year. There seems to be a very broad variety of choices: from new releases to classics, from fiction to documentaries…
Italian culture cannot easily be quantified or explained in a single film or with a particular style. Italy is such a diverse country, that I felt like the Festival needs to reflect this. This year I was particularly moved by the powerful expression of traditions and history in a contemporary context. For me this mix of modernity and ancientness can be seen as something unique and precious in Italian culture. I am also very passionate to bring New Zealand audiences a broad and surprising look at Italian culture. Through documentaries, thematic choices, classics, dramas and comedies I can expose kiwis to the dynamic nature of Italy. You couldn’t get more different films from say Quo Vado / Where am I going? to Fuocoamare / Fire at Sea, yet both in hilarious and eloquent ways express the complexity of Italy in superb and totally different cinematic ways.
3) Where do you see the Festival in five years from now?
I look forward to The Cinema Italiano Festival being established as an essential event on the New Zealand cultural calendar. I see The Cinema Italiano Festival as a window into many aspects of Italian culture and business. I want Italians in New Zealand to feel an enormous sense of pride and along with kiwis feel that they simply must be part of it. The world and business of Cinema is changing rapidly and we want to be at the crest of those changes. In five years we will have a ‘famiglia’ of loyal businesses and patrons that will feel they simply have to be part of our celebration.
4) tell us where the opening night will be? We are curious to know a little bit more about it.
We are rapidly becoming famous for our opening nights, its. We will have our opening night at one of Auckland’s most charming boutique Cinemas The Bridgeway Theatre on August 31. Vino by Carpinetto, Banfi and Zabu, birra by Peroni and aqua by San Pellegrino. Esteemed Chef Antonio Crisci of Poderi Crisci will be creating some sensational stuzzichini. We will kick the Auckland Cinema Italiano Festival 2017 with a classic, the beautifully restored Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, quite possibly the greatest ever romantic comedy.