Italian film festival goes online with recent hits and award winners – all for free

Films that recently grabbed some top prizes at European festivals can be streamed from anywhere in the Czech Republic.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 23.11.2020 13:26 (updated on 23.11.2020)

MittelCinemaFest, the annual festival of Italian films, will take place online Nov. 26 to Dec. 3 – all for free.

The films with one exception will be screened in their original version with a choice of English or Czech subtitles on the MYmovies.it and Live moje kino platforms. Even though the festival is online, people still need to get virtual tickets for the shows, as the number of viewers allowed is limited. Viewers also have to be located in the Czech Republic to access the streams. Ticketing details can be found on the festival website.

There is a short window of time to watch the films, from three hours of the scheduled start time or until the capacity of the virtual screening hall is used up.

Hidden Away. (photo: Italian Institute)
Hidden Away. (photo: Italian Institute)

The one exception is the film Maverick Modigliani (Maledetto Modigliani), which will be streamed live and only with Czech subtitles.

The festival offers a representative sampling of the most recent Italian film productions including comedies, dramatic films and documentaries.

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“Most of the selected films have been presented at prestigious festivals such as the Berlinale, the Venice Film Festival and the Rome Film Festival, and have received major national and international awards,” Francesco Saverio Nisio, Italy’s ambassador to the Czech Republic said, thanking those who made the festival possible.

Alberta Lai, the director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague, said this is going to be a special edition of the festival not only because of the number and prestigious films, but because it will be viewed entirely online.

She lamented the loss of live screenings with the filmmakers, but found positive aspects to this year’s format. “Online viewing and free admission to the shows allows them to reach more viewers and promotes Italian cinema throughout the Czech Republic,” she said.

Goddess of Fortune. (photo: Italian Institute)
Goddess of Fortune. (photo: Italian Institute)

The festival starts Nov. 26 with Daniele Luchetti’s romantic drama The Ties (Lacci), which was also the opening film of this year’s Venice International Film Festival. The film, set and the 1980s, focuses on a marriage in trouble.

Two films will be screened Nov. 26. Francesco Bruni’s autobiographical film Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Cosa sarà) looks at a director’s struggle with illness. Giorgio Diritti’s biopic Hidden Away (Volevo nascondermi), about reclusive painter Antonio Ligabue, earned the Silver Bear for Best Actor for Elio Germano at this year’s Berlinale.

Kidz. (photo: Italian Institute)
Kidz. (photo: Italian Institute)

More award winners will be seen Nov. 28. Pietro Castellitto’s comedic drama The Predators (I predatori) won the Horizon Award for Best Screenplay at the 2020 Venice International Film. Damiano and Fabio D'Innocenzo’s drama Bad Tales (Favolacce) won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlinale.

Nov. 29 offers two screenings. Fabrizio Laurenti’s documentary Life as a B Movie: Piero Vivarelli examines the life of the film director and songwriter. Giuseppe Bonito's drama Figli (Kidz) puts parenting in modern Italy into the spotlight.

The documentary Maverick Modigliani (Maledetto Modigliani) screens without English subtitles on Nov. 30.

December kicks off with Emma Dante's drama The Macaluso Sisters (Le sorelle Macaluso), adapted from the director’s own stage play. It won two Pasinetti Awards at the Venice — for best film as well as for the best female interpretation, given to the entire cast.

Ferzan Ozpetek’s drama The Goddess of Fortune (La dea fortuna) is on Dec. 2. Two men are suddenly thrust into parenthood when they have to take care of another couples’ children. Jasmine Trinca earned Best Actress at the David di Donatello Awards, the Italian equivalent of the Oscars. The film also won for Best Original Song.

Claudio Noce's coming-of-age drama Padrenostro (Padrenostro) closes the festival Dec. 3. Pierfrancesco Favino won the Coppa Volpi for Best Actor at the Venice International Film Festival.

For more information visit the festival website or the homepage of the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague.