In honor of Italian Heritage Month, UTSA’s Architecture and Modern Languages Departments have teamed up to host an Italian Film Festival throughout October.

The department will be screening a modern Italian film every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in the first floor gallery within the Monterey building on UTSA’s downtown campus this month.

Four films in total will be screened during the festival, and English subtitles will be provided so everyone can enjoy the film together.

Several UTSA professors are in charge of coordinating this event: Angela Lombardi and Mark Blizard with the Architecture Department and Molly Zaldivar, with the Modern Languages Department.   

The film festival began as an academic resource for architecture students who have planned to study abroad in Urbino, Italy during the Spring 2018 semester, but the festival has been opened to other UTSA students and the entire San Antonio community at no charge.

On Oct. 4, the first film screened at the festival was “Habemus Papam” (We Have a Pope). The 2011 comedy-drama revolves around Cardinal Melville, who is elected pope against his wishes.

During the announcement, the newly elected pope, played by Michel Piccoli, has a panic attack and fails to appear on the balcony.

The College of Cardinals then call a psychoanalyst, played by renowned Italian director Nanni Moretti, to analyze the new pope’s mental state.

The elected pope, during this time, escapes the Vatican and roams the streets of Rome, which grants the viewers an inside look at the modern atmosphere of the great city.

The next film of the festival, which will be shown on Oct. 11, is “Smetto Quando Voglio” (I Can Quit Whenever I Want).

Sydney Sibilia directs this 2014 Italian comedy film about Pietro Zinni, a neurobiologist researcher played by Edoardo Leo, who is fired because of university budget cuts.

Pietro is then forced by economic crisis to produce drugs with his unlikely criminal gang of former university colleagues.

This film demonstrates the university life of a modern Italian student through the filter of a Breaking Bad episode.

On Oct. 18, the film to be screened is “Pane e Tulipani” (Bread and Tulips)–a 2000 romantic-comedy film directed by Silvio Soldini.

The film tells the story of an emotionally controlled housewife Rosalba Barletta, who is stranded during a family vacation, and instead of going home, she heads to Venice in search of a better life.

The film gives an interesting perspective on the Italian family, and it also gives a wonderful tour of the Venetian cityscape and culture.

The final film is “La Grande Bellezza” (The Great Beauty), and it will be shown on Oct. 25.

Directed by Paolo Sorrentino, the 2013 Italian art-drama film won Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards and the 71st Golden Globe Awards.

The film tells the story of aging socialite Jep Gambardella, played by Toni Servillo, who after his 65th birthday party wanders the streets and ruins of Rome while reflecting on his life.

All of the films chosen for the festival were picked for their accurate portrayal and celebration of the culture of modern Italy.

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