The “Visuali Italiane – New Italian Cinema in Romania” festival returns in March to the big cities

The festival dedicated to Italian cinema returns in March with the third edition, which will take place in Bucharest (March 4 – 10, Cinema Muzeul Ţăranului), Cluj-Napoca (March 14 – 17, Cinema Victoria), Iași (March 23 – 24, Cinema Ateneu) and Timișoara (March 28 – 31, Cinema Victoria).

Also, for May 29 – June 2, Visual Italiane announces a partnership with Este Film Festival (Sibiu). “Visuali Italiane – New Italian Cinema in Romania” brings to the public the best recent productions, from established directors to amazing debuts, as well as reference films, which will be seen in the presence of special guests, directors or actors.

In the festival selection, made by curator and film critic Eddie Bertozzi (coordinator of the Pardi di domani selection committee of the Locarno International Film Festival), which will be opened by Matteo Garrone's new film Io Capitano / I captain, nominated for Oscar 2024, there are titles such as Comandante / The Commander, co-written and directed by Edoardo De Angelis, La Chimera / Himera, by Alice Rohrwacher, Misericordia / Misericordie, by Emma Dante, Gli oceani sono i veri continenti / The true continents are the oceans, by Tommaso Santambrogio, Te l'avevo detto / I told you!, by Ginevra Elkann, Palazzina Laf / The Laf Building, by Michele Riondino, and the classic Le conseguenze dell'amore / The consequences of love, by Paolo Sorrentino.


“Visuali Italiane is developing, this year reaching two other cities in Romania, Iași and Sibiu, as proof that the interest in our festival and in Italian film is growing. 2023 was a year full of important and varied productions, and Visuali Italiane wants to be a spokesperson for this wealth. We hope that the Romanian public will fill the cinema halls at this edition as well”, says Laura Napolitano, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Bucharest.

“A trip to today's Italian cinema is a call to curiosity, to discovery, to the unprejudiced enjoyment of surprise. In fact, we are dealing with an extremely varied panorama, with different forms and genres, where the desire to make auteur films and the passion for entertainment are not two mutually canceling forces, but complementary perspectives. The selection from Visual Italiane 2024 aims to offer the Romanian public a proof of this richness,” says Eddie Bertozzi, the festival's curator.

Io Capitano / I captain, directed by Matteo Garrone, Oscar nominee and winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, tells the story of the adventurous journey of Seydou and Moussa, two young people who leave Dakar hoping to reach Europe. A contemporary odyssey through the perils of the desert, the horrors of Libyan detention centers and the perils of the sea. I am the captain outlines an epic of extraordinary humanity, exploiting the expressive means of the fairy tale and the myth to relate one of the tragedies of our times, without forgetting, however, hope. The young Seydou Sarr, awarded in Venice for his performance, gives the film an overwhelming emotional charge. The film will premiere in Romanian cinemas on March 22, distributed by Bad Unicorn.

Commandante / The commander, the film that opened the Venice International Film Festival, recreates an incident in the 1940 Battle of the Atlantic, when an Italian submarine sank the Belgian merchant ship Kabalo. The submarine commander decided to disobey orders, saving the crew on the Kabalo. Edoardo De Angelis, the author of the film, orchestrates a majestic portrait of a hero, mixing the spirit of adventure, the passion for expressiveness and a genuine emotional involvement. Starring the incomparable Pierfrancesco Favino, the epitome of today's top Italian cinema.

At Chimera / Chimera, by Alice Rohrwacher, Palme d'Or nominee and European Film Awards winner, stars Josh O'Connor, Carol Duarte, Isabella Rossellini and Alba Rohrwacher. Set in the 1980s in an imaginary village forgotten by the world in the Central Italian countryside, the story follows a group of ancient tomb desecrations who make a living by stealing precious Etruscan artifacts. Among them we find Arthur, a mysterious English archaeologist with a broken heart and a special grace. The film will premiere in cinemas in Romania on April 19, distributed by Independenta Film.

Misericordia / Mercy, the third feature film signed by Emma Dante, playwright and theater and film director, is an adaptation of a play she wrote about women, courage and infinite solitudes. In a dreamlike Sicily, between splendor and decay, sea, waste and junk, the film tells the story of a young man (Simone Zambelli), a fragile boy, born with a disability, cared for by a group of sex workers, who protect him from the cruelty of his father abusive. A fresco with an enormous lyrical and archaic power, in which life and the scene merge in a daring cinematic initiative in the fusion of delicacy and brutality.

Gli oceani sono i veri continents / The real continents are the oceans, an Italian-Cuban production written and directed by debutant Tommaso Santambrogio, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Against the background of a decadent Cuba, a couple of young lovers, two children who are friends at the buckle and an old woman whose beloved husband has died, live their lives, made up of small everyday gestures, stories from the past and dreams of the future. Three stories united by a delicate and heartbreaking feeling: to stay or to go, to feel inseparably connected to the native land or to dream of a future elsewhere. One of the finest debuts in recent Italian cinema, a song of love and disillusionment about the destiny of an area and its inhabitants.

Te l'avevo detto / I told you!, co-written and directed by Ginevra Elkann, and with an outstanding cast including Valeria Golino, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Riccardo Scamarcio, it presents an apocalyptic Rome hit by an unusual heat wave in the middle of January. Women and men from the upper bourgeoisie of the city end up in a hopeless situation, having to face their lifelong demons: sex, food, drugs, destructive relationships. An acid and grotesque comedy, personal and extremely brave, an unexpectedly sarcastic exploration of our fears and unshared feelings of guilt.

Palazzina Laf / Building Laf, an Italy-France co-production, is the directorial debut of Michele Riondino. The film continues the tradition of civic involvement films, talking about the first case of widespread workplace abuse reported in Italy in 1997. Riondino plays the lead role, that of a cleaning worker forced to spy on and denounce his colleagues which the bosses of the steel mill in Taranto where he works (the largest in Europe) want to escape.

Le conseguenze dell'amore/ The consequences of love (2004), directed by Paolo Sorrentino, is a psychological thriller with a mysterious love story, starring Toni Servillo, Olivia Magnani, Adriano Giannini and Angela Goodwin. The film, considered a gem that maintains its icy charm and one of the most beautiful endings of the Italian film of all time, follows the transformation of an introverted man, Titta Di Girolamo, a former businessman with many secrets, who has been living in a hotel for eight years from Switzerland, who discovers, at one point, that he is in love with the girl at the bar and becomes aware that everything is ready to collapse.

The screening within Visuali Italiane 2024 is a special occasion to (re)discover Paolo Sorrentino's second film on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, a true exercise in style offered by one of Italy's most beloved directors.