Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

San Diego Italian Film Festival Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

The San Diego Italian Film Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary this year by doing what it does best-showcasing the best of new Italian film and culture and throwing a great party.

"I can't tell you how excited I am to be celebrating our tenth anniversary with this terrific lineup of films," says SDIFF president Victor Laruccia. "Every year our feStivale proves once again that San Diego Italian Film Festival is about more than just movies. It is about history, identity, and a shared appreciation of great Italian cinema and culture, for a diverse audience of film lovers and those who appreciate Italian culture."

feStivale 2016 begins on October 5 and continues through October 16, with films and events at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park and La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.

Mangiamo Insieme, a tenth anniversary party on October 9, brings together three of the top Italian chefs in San Diego for a delicious celebration.

To mark the tenth anniversary, Victor Laruccia and artistic director Antonio Iannotta have selected films around several themes:

* Homage to Ettore Scola

* Italian Women Directors

* Fantasy & Science Fiction

* Regione Puglia

* A celebration of Jews in Italy: Mangiamo Insieme - Two Peoples, Two Cultures, One Table

Details of all feStivale 2016 events and films can be found on the website:

All tickets are $10 ($8 SDIFF Members/Students/Military), at the door, cash only, except for Mangiamo Insieme, included in the event ticket.

feStivale 2016 Films:

Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They Call Me Jeeg) Wednesday, October 5

Superheroes / First Feature MOPA, 7:30pm

Italy, 2015, 110 mins.

Italian with English subtitles

Director: Gabriele Mainetti


Enzo Ceccotti is a thief with little regard for the people in his city, Rome. When he falls into the Tiber in attempt to escape police, he comes into contact with a radioactive substance that gives him extraordinary abilities. He is disinclined to use his newfound powers for good, however, until he meets a young girl who mistakes him for her favorite Japanese Anime character, Hiroshi Shiba. When her life is threatened by a psycho gangster, Enzo must choose between a life as a super criminal or a superhero.


Io e lei (Me, Myself and Her) Thursday, October 6

Romance MOPA, 7:30pm

Italy, 2015, 102 mins.

Italian with English subtitles Thursday October 13

Director: Maria Sole Tognazzi LA PALOMA, 7pm


Marina, a former B list actress, and Federica, an architect in her first relationship with a woman, have been together for 5 years and are as comfortable together as any couple might be. That is, until Marina is offered a role that promises to bring their relationship more publicity than Federica is comfortable with. Sabrina Ferilli and Margherita Buy are excellent in this light drama about the clashes between love and identity.


Latin Lover Thursday, October 6

Comedy LA PALOMA, 7pm

Italy, 2015, 104 mins.

Italian with English subtitles Sunday, October 16

Director: Cristina Comencini MOPA, 7:30pm


It's been 10 years since the passing of Saverio Crispo, Italy's most beloved movie star and most prolific ladies' man. He left behind five daughters, each from a different relationship in a different part of the world. To mark the anniversary of his death, mothers and daughters alike gather in his hometown to piece together the puzzle of the man they've known only as an icon. The international cast of Latin Lover features Almodóvar actresses, three-time David di Donatello winner Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and the late Virna Lisi in her final screen appearance.


Il racconto dei racconti (Tale of Tales) Friday, October 7

Fantasy MOPA, 7:30pm

Italy, France, Great Britain 2015, 130 mins.


Director: Matteo Garrone


Once upon a time, there were three neighboring kingdoms, each with a magnificent castle, from which ruled kings and queens. One king was a libertine, another captivated by a strange animal, while one of the queens was obsessed by her wish for a child. Sorcerers and fearsome monsters, ogres, acrobats and courtesans are the protagonists of this interpretation of the celebrated 17th-century tales by Neapolitan, Giambattista Basile. A fantastical film featuring an international star-studded cast set against the backdrop of Italy's real wonders.


L'arte della felicità (The Art of Happiness) Saturday, October 8

Italy, 2013, 84 mins. MOPA, 7:30pm

Italian with English subtitles

Director: Alessandro Rak


Under a leaden sky, among the apocalyptic omens of Naples at the height of its degradation, grieving taxi driver Sergio comes to grips with the death of his older brother, Alfredo, who left years ago to join a Buddhist monastery in Nepal. Sergio spends a rainy night driving streets that mirror the chaos inside him. Various clients bring their points of view on life to bear and ultimately, Sergio must find healing and happiness. A deeply sensitive animated film about loss and resurrection.



Tenth Anniversary Celebration

October 9, 2016 at 5:00PM


Featuring delicious fare prepared by three of the top Italian chefs in the city*

Chef Accursio Lota, Solare

Chef Francesca Penoncelli, Bice

Chef Matteo Cattaneo, Buona Forchetta

Chef Palma Bellinghieri, Private Chef & Culinary Educator

Wines from Cantina della Volta and Fattoria Zerbina

Bread & Cie

Gaia Gelato

Arcidiacano Coffee

Cost to attend: $75

Member price: $60

(includes two glasses of wine and the film)

* Menu does not include shellfish or meat


Shores of Light: Salento 1945-47 Sunday, October 9

Documentary MOPA, after Mangiamo Insieme

Israel, 2015, 56 mins.

Hebrew and Italian with English subtitles

Director: Yael Katzir

SAN DIEGO PREMIERE in partnership with the San Diego Jewish Film Festival

Thousands of Jewish survivors landed in Southern Italy after WWII, on their way to Israel. Welcomed by the poor locals as they awaited the Italian ships that would carry them across the British Blockade, they began the process of psychological and physical healing and hundreds of children were born. The film follows the story of three Israeli women born during this time as they discover the place and culture where their parents began to believe in life again. Weaving rare historical footage with unique current testimonials the film captures a ray of light after great darkness.


Brutti, sporchi e cattivi (Ugly, Dirty and Bad) Wednesday, October 12

Comedy MOPA, 7:30pm

Italy, 1976, 115 mins.

Italian with English subtitles

Director: Ettore Scola


The extended Mazzatella family lives shoulder-to-shoulder in a shack. When the old patriarch receives an insurance payout for the loss of an eye, the whole family wants a piece of it. However, he refuses to share the money and pretty soon, children, grandchildren and other relatives are plotting their revenge. Ettore Scola won Best Director 40 years ago at the Cannes Film Festival for this outrageous "satirical tragedy" starring the great Nino Manfredi.


Vergine giurata (Sworn Virgin) Thursday, October 13

Drama / First Feature MOPA, 7:30pm

Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Kosovo, 2015, 85 mins.

Italian, Albanian with English subtitles

Director: Laura Bispuri


An old Balkan tradition allows women who renounce their femininity and take a vow of chastity to live their lives out as men, with all the freedoms only men enjoy. Mark, born Hana, is one of these sworn virgins. After thirty-plus years of living in an Albanian mountain town, Mark is haunted by memories of his estranged sister who escaped their fiercely patriarchal society for Italy. In a tentative journey to Milan, faced with a strange new world, Mark begins to reclaim his original identity as Hana.


Che strano chiamarsi Federico! Friday, October 14

(How Strange To Be Named Federico: LA PALOMA, 7pm

Scola Narrates Fellini)


Italy, 2013, 92 mins.

Italian with English subtitles

Director: Ettore Scola


Ettore Scola affectionately documents his friendship with the great Federico Fellini. From their early days at the satirical Marc'Aurelio to Fellini's death and the three days of casket viewing at Cinecittà's Studio 5, Scola pays tribute to his friend's genius, inventiveness, and legacy through a brilliant merry-go-round of re-creations and clips. The impressionistic style of storytelling calls to mind Fellini's sense of fantasy and affection for humanity.


Alaska (The Beginners) Saturday, October 15

Romance MOPA, 7:30pm

Italy, France 2015, 125 mins.

Italian and French with English subtitles

Director: Claudio Cupellini


When Fausto, an Italian man living in France and working as a waiter, meets Nadine, a young and beautiful French girl who aspires to be a model, it ignites an obsessive, years-long case of a love story that takes the couple from the highest highs to the lowest lows, from prison to power and fortune, and from love to hate and everything in between. This torrid saga of money, sex, and violence is a wild, careening joyride.


A complete lineup of SDIFF events, dates, venues, tickets, and more details, can be found at

Now celebrating its tenth season, the San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF), a not-for-profit 501c(3) organization, has made its mark on the local landscape, becoming among the most beloved film festivals San Diego has to offer. Each year it brings the passion, love, comedy, despair, and hope of the best of Italian film to San Diego, affording audiences the opportunity to learn about Italian film from scholars and directors who continue to influence filmmaking throughout the world.

The San Diego Italian Film Festival is about more than just movies-it is about identity, history, and a shared appreciation of Italian culture and great cinema. In a word, it is about community, a place for a diverse audience of film lovers and those who appreciate Italian culture. Movies or events such as CineCucina or Dine on the Docks are presented year-round, celebrating Italian film and cuisine.

San Diego Italian Film Festival

Victor Laruccia, Executive Director

3593 Fifth Ave., Suite A, San Diego, CA 92103

Related Articles View More San Diego Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You