Italian Film Festival Toronto

5 films to watch at the Italian Contemporary Film Fest

The Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), now in its second year, takes place during Ontario's Italian Heritage month, and as the only Italian film festival in Canada, ICFF celebrates all things Italian with screenings of a selection of quality films in three GTA venues, in Italian or other foreign languages subtitled in English. During the 11 day event, you'll be able to see an incredible array of contemporary film.

Here are my 5 top picks from the schedule.

An English sound engineer's work for a master Italian horror director becomes a terrifying case of life imitating art, as the line between fiction and reality starts to blur, and delightful madness ensues. One of the most talked about Italian films in recent memory, Berberian Sound Studio is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a slow burn thrill ride and has an aural fixation.

IL MUNDIAL DIMENTICATO (Subtitled in English)
During World War II, a 1942 World Cup was held in Patagonia, but has never been recognized by the official governing bodies. This event has been shrouded in mystery for decades with no knowledge of the winner, and no one willing to talk about it. This film re-enacts those events. A must-see for World Cup fans.

SHUN LI AND THE POET (Subtitled in English)
The film tells the story of the friendship between a young Chinese woman and a Slavic fisherman on an island in the Venetian lagoon which is going through a stretch of difficult social and economic change. On one hand, the woman has abandoned her heritage to escape poverty, on the other, the man is finding fortune but losing touch with his roots. They find each other instead. An interesting collision of two worlds, and definitely worth a look.

UNA DOMENICA NOTTE (Subtitled in English)
After failing a first attempt at being a famous horror director, Antonnio gets married and has a son, but the monotony of his day to day routine starts to get in the way of his filmmaking dreams. Soon Antonnio finds out that the fear encompassing him is much scarier than any horror film he can imagine. This is a really comedic look at the sacrifices we make in our own lives, and how happiness and success can creep in, when you least expect it.

A film inspired by the events that took place in Genoa during the G8 in 2001, when 300 police officers and 70 special agents raided the Diaz school looking for demonstrators. The school contained 90 activists, mostly students from around Europe along with a handful of foreign reporters. Supposedly, as the police entered the area the young demonstrators threw up their hands in surrender. Blind with power and adrenaline, the police unnecessarily attacked, and havoc ensued. Harrowing and real, this film is a warning that a dystopian police state is always just right around the corner. Lock your door and find your N.W.A. cassette.

ICFF runs from June 26 to July 6 at various venues across the GTA. The complete schedule is available on the ICFF website.

Want to recommend a film we shouldn't miss at the 2013 ICFF? Let us know in the comments below.

Film still from Una Domenica Note

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