The 13th Annual L.A. Italia Film Fest is returning to Hollywood. This year’s event will pay tribute to Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino and the film’s producer Marco Morabito on March 2. The film will compete for four Academy Awards, including best picture, two days later.
This year’s festival is chaired by Maria Bello, who will also honor set decorator Alessandra Querzola and production designer Dennis Gassner for their work on Blade Runner 2049.
The world premiere of Hotel Gagarin, a new comedy from Simone Spada, will open the fest on Feb. 25.
The opening-day program also includes the U.S. premiere of Beyond the Sun, which features a cameo from Pope Francis himself; All Before Your Eyes, Walter Veltroni’s documentary about a Jewish-Italian Holocaust survivor; and The Song Prince, a biopic of singer-songwriter Fabrizio De Andre.
A trio of Italian icons will be honored throughout the festival: Lina Wertmuller, Franco Zefferelli and Bernardo Bertolucci. Wertmuller, the first woman to ever receive an Academy Award nomination for best director, will be celebrated with a screening of Behind the White Glasses, a documentary about her life.
A retrospective of Zeffirelli works including Romeo & Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew is also planned. And Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, which took home nine Oscars, will screen in celebration of its 30th anniversary.
Other program highlights include Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Rainbow – A Private Affair; Francesca Comencini’s Stories of Love That Cannot Belong to This World; Alessandro Gassman’s The Prize; and Abel Ferrara’s documentary Piazza Vittorio.
The L.A. Italia Film Fest is set to run Feb. 25-March 3 at the TCL Chinese Theatre. All festival screenings are free and open to the public.