Turin Fest to Include New Hollywood Sidebar, Event Focusing On Recent Italian Films

10:52 AM PST 02/05/2013 by Eric J. Lyman

Paolo Virzi, a popular director of Italian comedies, was named artistic director of the event last month.

ROME – The next edition of the Turin Film Festival will include the first of two installments of a “New Hollywood” retrospective, and another section that focuses on Italian cinema from the last two decades, the first substantive changes since comic director Paolo Virzi was named the festival’s artistic director last month.

Virzi -- best known for comic hits in Italy, including La prima cosa bella (The First Beautiful Thing, 2010) and Tutta la Vita Avanti (A Whole Life Ahead, 2008) -- will replace Italian auteur Gianni Amelio in Turin. Amelio stepped down after a four-year mandate in the job.

Virzi already attracted headlines when he announced this year’s Turin Fest, the 31st, would take place Nov. 22-30, setting up a second consecutive clash with the eight-year-old International Rome Film Festival, which in 2012 moved its dates from October to November under new artistic director Marco Mueller, encroaching on Turin’s traditional spot on the calendar. The understanding last year was that Turin would switch to October starting this year, but Virzi reversed that decision.

In the latest announcement about Turin, Virzi promised that the festival under his stewardship would have an identity “substantially similar” to previous editions, but with a few key updates.

The New Hollywood retrospective will take two years to complete, split between this year’s edition of the festival and the 2014 edition of the event. Between the two editions, the section will screen around 80 American films made between 1967 and 1976. The retrospective will be curated by noted Italian critic Emanuela Martini.

The section on Italian films from the last 20 years will feature screenings and also roundtable discussions of the films.

Last year’s Turin event was noted both for being the only major Italian film festival to see ticket sales rise despite the country’s economic slump, and also for the last-minute decision from UK director Ken Loach to turn down the festival’s lifetime achievement honor in protest of worker conditions at Turin’s National Film Museum, the festival’s parent organization.

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