Annual San Diego Italian Film Festival Is Back For Its 17th Year

The San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF) returns this October with in-person and online screenings of movies with the theme of “Forward” as the organization continues to reimagine its offerings for a growing and evolving audience and community.

This year’s festivale, which runs from October 3-14, will screen the films at Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park as well as at La Paloma in Encinitas, and the Digital Gym located at UC San Diego’s Park & Market.

San Diego Italian Film Festival: A Cinematic Extravaganza

The lineup includes romantic comedies, independent films, dramas, documentaries, and other Italian films—many of which are being screened in San Diego for the first time.

The fun-filled festa, a celebration that will feature award-winning Italian food, Italian wine and live music, will be on Saturday, October 14, at the Museum of Photographic Arts and will feature the 5th Annual Ristretto Awards, SDIFF’s short films competition, which features submissions from around the world that explore the themes of Italian culture and identity.

This is the second year that the San Diego Film Festival will be held without its founder and former president, Victor Laruccia, who passed away in March 2021.

Antonio Iannotta, SDIFF’s artistic director, said the goal of this year’s festivale is to continue Laruccia’s legacy while expanding the film festival’s reach with a diverse offering of films and locations so that more people will be able to enjoy not just cutting-edge Italian cinema but also an Italian perspective.

“Victor typically selected the key themes for the festivale such as ‘Activism’ in 2020, ‘Resilience’ in 2021 and ‘Choice’ in 2022. This is our first festivale without Victor’s guidance, and so we chose to preserve his vision with the movies and events that will move the organization Forward, while still being true to our values and mission.”

“Victor’s goal was always to build a piazza of sorts where the community could enjoy Italian films and culture while also sharing their perspectives and insights with each other.”

Diana Agostini, SDIFF’s executive director, said the organization has also reimagined the festivale’s annual celebration and fundraiser to be a more casual and livelier affair.

This year’s festa will feature food from the Ciccia Osteria, a Michelin-recognized restaurant in Barrio Logan; Italian wines; hand-made desserts from Gelato Love; and the music of S.T. Cats, a local Italian and International cover band.

“We hope people will come to celebrate the organization as it navigates the road forward. It is the perfect opportunity to enjoy Italian culture and cinema while helping support the San Diego Italian Film Festival,” Agostini said.

Info and Tickets

Details of all festivale 2023 films can be found here.

To buy ticket packages, visit here.

For tickets to the festa and 5th Annual Ristretto Awards, visit here.

See you there, San Diego!

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