Opening Night Matakana - Roman Holiday

Opening Night Matakana - Roman Holiday

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Starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn and directed by William Wyler, Roman Holiday won three Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Costume Design and Best Writing. In this timeless classic, Hepburn is at her transcendent best as a sheltered princess who falls for an American newsman in Rome.

"Roman Holiday" is well-scripted and well-acted with gorgeous visuals shot on location in Italy. It's a charming film with wit fresh enough for a modern audience.

WINNER

Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Director (William Wyler)
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Eddie Albert)
Academy Award for Writing (Screenplay) (Ian McLellan Hunter and John Dighton)
Academy Award for Best Art Direction (Hal Pereira & Walter H. Tyler)
Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Franz Planer & Henri Alekan)
Academy Award for Best Film Editing (Robert Swink)
BAFTA Award for Best Film from any source
BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor — (Eddie Albert)
BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor — (Gregory Peck)
DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (William Wyler)

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Belli di Papa / Daddy's Girl

Belli di Papa / Daddy's Girl

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Vincenzo is a successful entrepreneur in Milan. After becoming a widower and having had to look after his three children while running his business he suddenly comes to the realisation that his children, now in their twenties, are proving unfit for the realities of real life and especially unfit to receive their inheritances. His children, Andrea, Chiara and Matteo, live a life of luxury but without a clue about the responsibilities of earning a living. Vincenzo therefore goes to great lengths to give them a reality check by concocting a scheme that ultimately sends them to his family home in Puglia as fugitives running from the law. To survive, Chiara, Matteo and Andrea will have to start doing something they've never done before: work.

Italian megastar Diego Abatantuono has appeared in over 60 films in his long and successful career including Academy award-winner Mediterraneo (1991), I'm Not Scared (LIFF 2003), Happy Family (LIFF 2010) and last year’s comedy hit Soap Opera (LIFF 2015) and he is sure to entertain audiences again with this mischievous comedy.


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God Willing / Se Dio Vuole

God Willing / Se Dio Vuole

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God Willing was a box office hit in Italy and director, Edoardo Falcone won 'Best New Director' at the David di Donatello Awards 2015, and you can see why. The films strikes an astute balance between clever writing and a great cast with comic precision. It is not easy feat to poke fun at both the church and atheism at the same time in traditionally catholic Italy.

The brilliant Marco Giallini, plays an atheist surgeon, Tommaso, who has a charmingly dysfunctional family and his own God-complex. His personal lack of faith is challenged by his teenaged son, who falls under the influence of a charismatic young priest (Alessandro Gassman). Tommaso's world is further shaken when his wife and daughter also undergo a renaissance of sorts themselves. Tommaso refuses to accept this newfound Catholicism and attempts to go undercover to expose the priest.

This film represents a very hilarious and contemporary Italian version of wrestling with those old demons - the church and faith. The popularity of God Willing in Italy and in International Festivals is absolutely justified and I particularly enjoyed the amusing and rare blend of silly and smart.

WINNER

Best New Director - David di Donatello Awards 2015
Best New Director - Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists 2015
Audience Award - Tokyo International Film Festival 2015

 

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Perfect Stranger / Perfetti Sconoscuiti

Perfect Stranger / Perfetti Sconoscuiti

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"Let’s play a game then.
We’ll all put our phones on the table …"

Not just a box office hit but also a national phenomenon, Paolo Genovese’s latest dramedy has got the whole of Italy asking: How well do we really know those closest to us?

Fuelled by a fiendishly clever screenplay and an all-star cast, Perfect Strangers gathers a group of good friends around the dining table – three 30-something couples and a bachelor – where one suggests they make all SMSs and phone calls public across the course of the night. The reason: to prove they have nothing to hide.

What seems like an innocent experiment results in some eye-opening disclosures – even a swapping of phones in a desperate concealment attempt – that shows how performance dominates our public lives.

As Genovese says, “Smartphones have become a fundamental object, perhaps the only one that we always carry with us – our ‘black box’.” Never has the time been so ripe to offer such a cinematic take on a classic morality conundrum.

WINNER

Best Film and Best Screenplay, David di Donatello Awards 2016
Silver Ribbon for Best Comedy and Special Silver Ribbon for Ensemble Cast, Nastro D’Argento Awards 2016
Best Screenplay, Tribeca Film Festival 2016

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Ever Been to the Moon / Sei mai stata sulla luna

Ever Been to the Moon / Sei mai stata sulla luna

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Renzo (Raoul Bova, Do You See Me?) is a down-to-earth farmer; charming, rational and practical. Working and living on a farm in the remote village of Apulia, he meets Guia (Liz Solari), an elegant journalist at a prestigious fashion magazine, who has travelled to see his farm, which she has just inherited.

Guia drives a convertible, travels by private jet and lives between Milan and Paris. Now she finds herself hopelessly drawn into local town life and its carousel of unique characters, including Renzo the farmer, an avant-garde bartender, aspiring priest Pino, a Latin scholar and notary, a butcher also involved in real estate, Celestina the cow and many others.

Falling head-over-heels for Renzo, Guia realises the only thing that’s been missing from her life is true love. Caught between her high-flying job and the romance that has always evaded her, Guia is a step away from happiness but has no idea how to get there. This diverting romantic comedy, in Opening Night director Paolo Genovese’s capable hands, is a heart-warming ensemble piece featuring many of Italy’s finest actors.


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