ITALIAN CONTEMPORARY FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS
UNDER A LUCKY STAR TAKES PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
Toronto, ON – June 23, 2014 – The 3rd edition of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), presented by IC Savings, wrapped another successful festival. The festival presented 28 features and 37 shorts showcasing Italian culture in cinemas in Toronto, Hamilton, Vaughan, Montreal and Quebec City.
“For nine days we presented a diverse slate of Italian contemporary films from Italy, by Italo-Canadians and by filmmakers all over the world on the big screen and enthusiastic audiences showed up to watch them with passion and joy,” said Cristiano de Florentiis, ICFF Co-Founder and Artistic Director. “A big congratulations to the award winners whose works reflect the vibrancy of our industry.”
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
Audiences have selected the comedy UNDER A LUCKY STAR (SOTTO UNA BUONA STELLA) as the People’s Choice Award. Directed by and starring Carlo Verdone, the film is about a successful businessman who lives in a luxurious house with his young girlfriend. Verdone presented the film in Toronto and accepted the award at the closing night party at Casa Loma on Friday.
On receiving the award, Verdone commented, “Theatre attendance in the five cities where the film screened was overwhelming, yielding an incredible wave of affection and respect toward me. This proves that Under a Lucky Star is an international film that can be understood by audiences of every kind.”
IC SAVINGS AWARD
STAY AWAY FROM ME (STAI LONTANA DA ME) by director Alessio Maria Federici, received the IC Savings Award, which is awarded to a film that makes an outstanding contribution to Italian social and cultural values. The film’s star Enrico Brignano was presented with the award at the closing night screening of the film at Isabel Bader Theatre. STAY AWAY FROM ME is about a brilliant marriage guidance counselor, played by Brignano, who is a black cat himself where women are concerned.
“We’re excited to recognize one of the festival’s most delightful films, Stay Away From Me, with the IC Savings Award and we’re thrilled that Enrico Brignano, one of Italy’s most acclaimed actors, was on hand to accept it,” says Fausto Gaudio, President and CEO of IC Savings. “Director Alessio Maria Federici and Mr. Brignano have succeeded in delivering a memorable film that reflects the sheer quality of Italian contemporary cinema today.”
CRITIC’S CHOICE AWARD
The winner of the Angela Baldassarre Critic’s Choice Award went to FIRST SNOWFALL (LA PRIMA NEVE) by director Andrea Segre. Selected for its true-to-life feel and constantly engaging story, First Snowfall was a disarmingly heartfelt and greatly moving film, which tells the story of a Togolese refugee and a young boy who find solace in each other in this atmospheric film set in a small mountain village in Trentino. The Critic’s Choice Jury members included members of the Toronto Film Critics Association, Andrew Parker, Kiva Reardon, and Gilbert Seah.
BEST SHORT FILM AWARD
The Best Short Film award and prize of $1,000 CDN went to the animated BELLA DI NOTTE (THE FOUR O’CLOCK FLOWER) by director Paolo Zucca. It was awarded for its exceptional narrative verve, unique creativity, originality and poignancy. The ICFF Jury found it a truly special film, extremely well paced and constructed.
In addition to the film awards, several other awards were handed out during the course of ICFF included: Lifetime Achievement Award – Carlo Verdone; Special Achievement Award – Monika Bacardi; Awards of Excellence – Danny Glover, Vittoria Puccini, and Stephen Baldwin; Special Award for Contribution to the Canadian Film Industry – Nick Mancuso, who acted in The Big Fat Stone directed by Frank D’Angelo; and Best Screenplay – Martina Stella.
The Italian Contemporary Film Festival is generously supported by festival sponsors IC Savings, Ritz-Carlton ™ Toronto, Liberty Group, GFL, and Castlepoint NUMA Inc.; and partners TIFF, Italian Consulate in Toronto, Italian Institute of Culture in Toronto, Cinematheque Quebecoise, L’Altra Italia, Leonardo da Vinci Centre, Le Clap, Italian Trade Commission, Cinecitta Luce, National Congress of Italian-Canadians, Italian Heritage Month, Centro Scuola, TFCA, Villa Charities and Inspire2014; media partners CHIN TV & Radio, RAI World, My ETV Media and OMNI Television.