The Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), presented by Lavazza, wraps up its 10th edition with unprecedented results, safely gathering over 50,000 people and exceeding all past records. With more than 150 films officially selected, the Festival had the arduous task of selecting its winners amongst some of the most talented filmmakers and most beautiful films of 2021.
Registering a unanimous vote from the audience, the ICFF’s People’s Choice Award went to Out of My League/Sul più bello directed by Alice Filippi. This young and talented director was also awarded the Best Director Award for her brave and clever direction that brought to screen the story of Marta, an energetic and lively girl affected by a terminal disease.
The Festival’s Critics’ Award recipient was You Came Back/Lasciami Andare by Stefano Mordini for its poignant story that follows Marco and his ex-wife as they face the mysterious events following the death of their son, Leo. The Chain, directed by Vittorio Rossi and produced by Barry F. Lorenzetti, received the Empire Community Award for its engaging narrative of the convergence of the language of cinema and theatre.
The 2021 Award of Excellence went to Vincenzo Guzzo, Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist, Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, and President and CEO of Cinémas Guzzo; Moira Romano, Founder of ETV Film Inc. and editor of myetvmedia.com; Enrico Casarosa, Director of Disney and Pixar’s Luca; and Deanna Marsigliese, Pixar Character Art Director.
The ICFF Lifetime Achievement Award was given to the Italo-American Hollywood director, screenwriter, and producer, George Gallo (The Comeback Trail) for his incredible contribution to the world of cinema over the past thirty years.
Maurizio Paganelli was awarded the ICFF Best Producer award for the film, EST – Last Minute Dictatorship/Est, Dittatura Last Minute, the captivating road trip story set during the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, that was inspired by his own life experience.
This year’s Award for Best Short Film went to Slow by Giovanni Boscolo and Daniele Nozzi which brought to screen a satiric comedy about one of the greatest mysteries in the history of mankind: road traffic.
With the support of the Italian Embassy, the Italian Consulate in Toronto, the Italian Consulate in Montreal, the Italian Institutes of Culture, and the Italian Trade Commission, the ICFF elected to keep its invaluable role in supporting Italian films of international appeal and lead the industry during these months of change and adjustment to the new environment, despite the many associated challenges.
Staying true to its mission of reconnecting people through the power of moving images, the ICFF, with the outstanding support of the Governments of Canada and Ontario, held a lineup of innovative initiatives spanning from in-person events in Toronto and Montreal, a drive-in film festival held in the heart of Toronto, to an online nationwide festival on the ICFF digital platform.
“The pandemic brought on major changes and we are still experiencing the rippling effects on the cinema and event industries,” said Cristiano de Florentiis, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of ICFF. “With the mission of connecting the two sides of the ocean and highlighting Italian cinema and culture, the ICFF presented a month-long series of events offering a stellar selection of films that engaged Canadians and Italians alike.”
Thanks to Christie Digital, a global audio-visual solutions company and leader in projectors, Toronto’s downtown waterfront never shone brighter as it did during this exclusive open-air cinema. From architecture and fashion to cycling and literature, the ICFF brought to light a never-before-seen theatre at Ontario Place, one of the Toronto’s most picturesque parks, immersing the audience through striking films and insightful panel discussion under the stars.
The ICFF, with the of support its media partners Rogers Communications, OMNI Television, and RAI Italia, presented a complete glamorous experience filled with Campari and refreshing Lavazza coffee surrounded by the unique and upscale décor of Luxe Modern Event.
“Words cannot describe how happy we are at Lavazza for the success of the 2021 edition of the ICFF!”, said Andrea Chiaramello, Head of Lavazza Canada. “Under very challenging circumstances, their amazing team was able to expand the program to a multi-platform one, activating both a digital platform and outdoor events. This Festival has been the symbol of reuniting the Toronto community around cultural initiatives, extending the boundaries well beyond the local Italian community by including a much broader demographics.”
While the ICFF initiatives in Ontario have come to an end, the Festival program continues in Montreal with screenings each Wednesday until the end of the month of August in Petit Italie.
The ICFF thankful for all the support it received throughout their events and promises to introduce new initiatives in 2022 as well as showcasing many new films and creative innovations – bringing Italy one step closer to Canada and fostering new connections.