After a successful international run, Italian Screens, a three-day film festival celebrating Italy’s iconic movies opened to the Indian audience in Bengaluru this week.
Hosted by Ambassador Vincenzo de Luca, Roberto Stabile, Head of International specials projects at the Ministry of Culture/Cinecitta and Consul General Alfonso Tagliaferri, the festival saw its inaugural screening at Bangalore International Centre in Domlur on October 11, 2022. The event was attended by cinephiles as well as the Italian community in the city.
Ennio: The Maestro
The poster of 2021 Italian documentary, Ennio: The Maestro
The event kicked off with a private screening of Ennio: The Maestro, a 2021 documentary on the life and legacy of celebrated score composer Ennio Morricone. Directed by Guiseppe Tornatore of Cinema Paradiso fame, the documentary is a reverential tribute to the genius of Morricone, who composed more than 500 film and classical scores, won two Academy Awards and collaborated with the biggest directors from Sergio Leone to Quentin Tarantino between 1960 and 2016.
Morricone, best known for his work on Westerns such as Leone’s Dollar Trilogy, which continues to inspire popular culture to this day, created scores for movies not just in Italy, but also France and the US. Ennio offers a sweeping portrait of one of the most prolific film composers of the 20th century through archival footage and interviews with renowned filmmakers and musicians including Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Quentin Tarantino and Clint Eastwood.
Ennio is as much about Morricone’s journey of writing and creating music for cinema as it is about the history of Italian cinema in the last 50 years.
Italian Consulate in Bengaluru
The festival, organised in view of the opening of the Italian Consulate in the city in 2023, is among the many events that will seek to deepen cultural ties between Italy and India, said Tagliaferri.
“Culture is a strong part of Italy and we would like to promote it. With the consul opening its doors in 2023, I’m here to promote trade, scientific exchanges, university links and culture. We have planned several events in Bengaluru focusing on Italian art, design, theatre, dance, cuisine apart from films,” Tagliaferri said.
The consulate in Bengaluru, which is also responsible for Karnataka, AP, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, aims to foster co-productions. Through Italian Screens, Alfonso expressed an eagerness to share Italian cinema with India, which he described as “the biggest cinema production hub in the world.”
The six films that have been handpicked for the festival will be competing for next year’s David di Donatello Awards, the Italian equivalent of Academy Awards.
“Italian cinema has been consistently producing quality movies. With the Embassy and Cinecitta, Italy’s biggest film production hub, we selected some that we think represent the best that Italy has to offer now in terms auteurs, actors, plots etc,” the Consul General said.
Pointing out that the line-up does not just comprise blockbusters, he said the movies showcase different genres, and big and small budget productions, with established as well as new actors. “These films, we believe, represent the diversity and quality of Italian cinema. We are here to show you that Italian cinema is alive and kicking,” Tagliaferri said.
The festival will showcase six films across four cities — Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi — with two shows a day. In Bengaluru, it will run till October 14 at PVR Phoenix Market City, Whitefield with shows at 6pm and 9 pm.