Tiziana Rocca, left, with Gabriele Muccino (Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Filming Italy Los Angeles)

“I am very attached to the city of Los Angeles, I lived here for twelve years and made four very important films right here.” Italian director Gabriele Muccino returns to the city of angels, a place that feels like a second home, to receive the Filming Italy Achievement Award, on the occasion of the well-known film festival Filming Italy-Los Angeles.

Presented to him by Hollywood star Rosario Dawson – whom the Roman director directed in 2008 in the film Seven Pounds, alongside Will Smith – the award is part of a day entirely dedicated to Muccino, through a marathon where he presented his autobiography,  La Vita Addosso. Me, the Cinema and Everything Else, in addition to screenings of his latest film, The Most Beautiful Years, and the first episodes of the upcoming series, A Casa Tutti Bene.

Gabriele Muccino Photo courtesy of Daniele Venturelli/Filming Italy Los Angeles)

The event was part of the 2022 edition of Filming Italy – Los Angeles, created and organized by Tiziana Rocca, Agnus Dei and the Italian Cultural Institute Los Angeles. The festival, aimed at promoting Italy as a film set and as a bridge between Italian and American culture, supports Italian cultural growth through its cinema, the internationalization of Italian audiovisual products and intercultural relations between directors, producers and artists.

“I am very happy to return to Los Angeles this year, facing a major reopening compared to the previous edition, with a festival that will be held 50% live but which will not abandon the digital platform. Thanks to the streaming platform, in fact, it has been possible to increase the participation of the public, including many young students located in different areas of the United States,” Tiziana Rocca, who is also the Artistic Director of the festival, told us. “This year we focused on some social issues that I believe are particularly important, such as human rights and equal opportunities.”

The honorary president of this edition was Giancarlo Giannini. For the great actor, an icon of Italian Cinema, Filming Italy – Los Angeles promoted, in 2020,  the awarding of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the 16th for an Italian artist. Iconic Italian actress and beauty Gina Lollobrigida also chaired the honor committee.

As said, the event was virtual, as it was for the last two years due to the pandemic. “We have organized 26 masterclasses and several panels with many Italian and international guests and artists, such as Billy Zane and Vanessa Hudgens, where we discussed the future of the seventh art, that was so endangered by the pandemic and the lockdown,” Tiziana Rocca continued. “But all related industries of Italian cinema and the arts participated, including best costumes, best sets and best visual effects.”

Among the very first events to return in presence in Los Angeles with many live guests, and inaugurating the Awards Season of 2022, Filming Italy – Los Angeles opened with a live performance of Il Volo on the stage of the Harmony Gold Theater. The band this year will travel the world for a tour that’ll also have several dates in the US. For their latest album Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca received the Filming Italy – Los Angeles Music Award.

“I have always loved the working attitude here in the US, especially in the acting field,” actor Salvatore Esposito, known all over the world as Gomorra’s Genny Savastano, told us. “When the pandemic started in March 2020, I was in Chicago to shoot Fargo. Shooting, which was promptly interrupted, only resumed in the summer. My biggest dream? Making a film directed by Quentin Tarantino.” The young Neapolitan actor received the award, presented by  Filming Italy – Los Angeles in collaboration with Best Movie – Box Office,  for actors who have distinguished themselves during the year. With him, also Pio and Amedeo who, after the screening of their film Belli Ciao, received the Filming Italy – Los Angeles Best Comedy Award.

Italian vocal trio Il Volo (Photo courtesy of Daniele Venturelli/Filming Italy Los Angeles) (Photo by Daniele Venturelli )

“Filming Italy – Los Angeles is one of the most anticipated and followed events for the promotion of Italian cinema in the United States. I am happy that it is one of the first events to return ‘in presence’ in 2022, and one of the first of my mandate in Los Angeles,” Emanuele Amendola, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles, added.  Amendola participated for the first time to the festival, after coming to the city of angels from Washington DC.  “This year the Festival proposed an even richer program, with Italian and international guests, with the aim of supporting our cinema, a field the Institute always paid particular attention to. During the 2022 edition of Filming Italy – Los Angeles we also presented the IIC Los Angeles Creativity Award, to recognize Italian excellence in the world in every creative field.  The award itself is an original work created for us by renowned artist and stylist Emilio Cavallini, inspired by the vault of the Pantheon in Rome.” The prize has been already awarded to prominent personalities of Italian cinema, including Claudia Cardinale, Gina Lollobrigida, Carlo Verdone, Claudia Gerini, Mario Martone, Gianfranco Rosi, Lina Wertmüller and Gabriele Salvatores. This year, it went to Gabriele Muccino.  

“Filming Italy, which is in its seventh edition, has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated events of Italian cinema in Los Angeles. In 2021, despite the difficulties due to the pandemic, it achieved great success through the active participation of numerous Italian and American personalities from the world of entertainment. This year, a hybrid organization meant people could participate to events in presence in Los Angeles, but also allowed public  from all over the country to take advantage of the rich programming provided on digital platforms,”  Silvia Chiave, Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, said.

The Festival this year was dedicated to the memory of Serge Rakhlin, Chairman of the Foreign Film Committee of the HFPA, and member of the honor committee of Filming Italy since its first editions. A special award was dedicated to Carla Fracci: her husband, Beppe Menegatti, received the Filming Italy Best Movie Award in memory of the brightest étoile of all time.

Present at Filming Italy – Los Angeles was also Federica Pellegrini, the great Italian swimming champion: the documentary dedicated to her, Underwater – Federica Pellegrini, directed by Sara Ristori was part of the festival.

On the closing day of the festival, March 3, a second panel entitled Women In Entertainment: The Next Steps, was organized in collaboration with ITA and  Alessandra Rainaldi, Trade Commissioner Los Angeles Office of ITA.

“This year we have received applications for many interesting works, through which we discovered real and imaginary lives, all sharing together a quest, that to find one’s life path and coherence, despite the challenges imposed by culturally backward societies. Making a choice wasn’t easy, which demonstrates the creativity of all authors and artists who Women in Film, Television and Media Italia wants to support, also by giving them opportunities such as this one. With it, we want to bring together places we are used to see often only on a screen. And it is essential that our screens, both physical and digital, open up to a wider variety of stories and points of view, and that the interest towards female artists grows. These authors must become a common patrimony, and not only within the realm of women-produced art,” Domiziana de Rosa, President of Women in Film, Television and Media said.

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