Gia Coppola's & Peroni Grazie Cinema Series. Photo by Claire Bloom
Gia Coppola's & Peroni Grazie Cinema Series. Photo by Claire Bloom

Bringing the art of classic Italian cinema to Los Angeles, the Grazie Cinema Series hosted a screening of a cinematic Italian film, prefaced by the premiere of an original short film directed by Tracy Antonopoulos. The series had a grand kick off by hosting the screening of Pietro Germi’s comedy Divorce Italian Style (1961), on June 9th up on the rooftop of New York City’s Hudson Hotel. The next series was a screening of Vittorio De Sica’s drama-filled coming-of-age story The Bicycle Thieves on July 29th at L.A.’s Mondrian Hotel Skybar. Guests including musician Ryan Cabrera and Michael Jackson’s nephew Austin Brown attended the event. With Peroni Nastro Azzuro for a sponsor and Gia Coppola as the curator, the Grazie Cinema Series hit The Big Apple earlier this year, is now leaving Los Angeles, and will target Miami for the next screening around September or early October.

In order to inspire and appreciate the style, vision, and craft of Italian Cinema, Los Angeles is “An artistic, cultural hub for films and the perfect place to showcase how Italian masterpieces continue to impact the modern movie industry,” stated the global manager of Peroni Tristan Meline.

Known for her music duo with Ben Morsberger, called “Cable,” Tracy Antonopoulos showcased the premiere of her The Magic Word, a short film heavily influenced by Fellini’s work and 1970’s Italian cinema, and was thrilled to celebrate historic movies and bring them to a modern day vision of her own. Her five-minute film is a creative, modern twist to an Italian cinematic style about a moody girl entering a café. It transitions from black and white tones into a colorful, fun world throughout her wandering journey to portray the joyful side of life.

Tracy Antonopoulos & Gia Coppola. Photo by Craig Barritt

Tracy, how would you describe your experience being involved in the Grazie Cinema Series and particularly with an L.A. audience?

Peroni has always honored the true style and artistry of Italian film, so I was thrilled when both Peroni and Gia asked me to contribute. This was a chance to celebrate these extraordinary pieces of Italian cinematic history in a very authentic way by transitioning it into a modernized version of my own. It was an incredible opportunity and I couldn’t be happier on the outcome of The Magic Word. Hosting the L.A. screening was just a continuation of the celebration and, with Gia being from the area, more of our close friends were able to enjoy the whole premise of the series firsthand, making it an even more special event. It was just an overall amazing experience that I’m grateful for.

And how would you say the L.A. community has responded to the screening of The Bicycle Thieves?

I think it has been a positive response with a great outcome. The design of the event had lots of charm, channeling the effortless beauty of the Italian summer and the classic Californian sunset. The movie itself is a beautiful coming-of-age story that captures the authenticity of an Italian cinematic drama.

Coming from an artistic and talented family, Gia’s grandfather Francis Ford Coppola, her father Gian-Carlo Coppola, and her aunt Sofia Coppola have all been involved in the film and cinema industry. As an Italian American film director, screenwriter, and actress, Gia is native to the L.A. area and is known for films such Palo Alto, Casino Moon, and Blood Orange: You’re Not Good Enough. Having a vision to celebrate the legacy of Italian film, curating the Grazie Cinema Series has given her the opportunity to share her passion with a wider audience.

Gia, how have your family involvement in cinema and your Italian background influenced your career? 

I would say I’ve taken some cues from them, definitely. I’ve always loved writing and telling stories. I was lucky enough to experience the film industry at a young age, so I developed a hunger and passion for it. Having so many friends and family in the film world has also made for some truly special opportunities to collaborate. The films I’ve chosen for the series share a visual story of memories and inspiration. They are films I feel epitomize and celebrate my heritage and the timeless beauty of Italian film in an incredibly authentic way. 

What would be an outcome you’d desire from the audience after watching Italian cinema classics?

I want audiences to feel they’re really experiencing something special. Thanks to Peroni, we’ve had the opportunity to make it truly unique and something I’m super excited to be a part of.

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