'Giovanna's Father' to open L.A. Italia fest

Event also will include tribute to Anthony Minghella

Pupi Avati's "Giovanna's Father" will have its world premiere at the Mann Chinese 6 Hollywood Theatre on Feb. 15 as the opening event of the weeklong fourth annual Los Angeles Italia -- Film, Fashion and Art Festival.

The celebration of Italian culture will showcase of the U.S. premieres of four other Italian films: Massimo Spano's documentary "Franco Cristaldi: An Italian Legend," Maurizio Scaparro's "The Last Pulcinella," Brando de LSica's "Christian de Sica: Talk About Me" and Pierpaolo Pasolini's "La Rabbia."

Chaired by Oscar-winning filmmaker Bobby Moresco and co-chaired by Marina Cicogna, Tony Renis, Mark Canton, Paul Haggis and Steven Zaillian, the fest, headed by festival director Pascal Vicedomini, also will include a tribute to the late Anthony Minghella.

"Most people know Anthony Minghella from his big studio movies like 'The English Patient' and 'Cold Mountain.' But there will always be a place in my heart for a little movie called 'Truly, Madly, Deeply.' It contained such immense emotional power about loss and longing and the essence of life itself and what it means to the spirit that, in watching it, I knew that it could only have been made by an artist of the first rate like Minghella," Moresco said.

The tribue will include a retrospective of Minghella's films "Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Breaking and Entering."

The fest also will pay tribute to Vittoria De Sica with a screening of "The Bicycle Thief."

The festival is produced by the Capri in the World Institute in association with the Institute of Italian Culture of Los Angeles.