London, 3 January 2023: Created in 1932, the Venice Film Festival was the first film festival in history. As well as being the oldest film festival in the world, it’s also regarded as one of the world’s most important and iconic international film festivals. In November 2021 for the first time in its history, a selection of the programme was presented in London via a unique collaboration between La Biennale di Venezia, the Italian Cultural Institute in London and exhibitor Curzon. The result was festival edit FROM VENICE TO LONDON.
After that successful debut, From Venice to London returns in 2023 for its second edition. Running 3 – 5 February, the festival transports five key titles from the Venice Lido to London’s Curzon Soho. The selection represents the richness and vision of Italian cinema, with narratives exploring and challenging topics such as gender, religion, family, and redemption. With all five titles presented as UK Premieres, and with appearances by directors and cast, From Venice to London gives UK cinema audiences an early opportunity to watch some of the most celebrated films that had their World Premiere in September 2022 at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.
The 2023 programme comprises:
UK Premiere: AMANDA (dir: Carolina Cavalli, Italy/France). A nominee at Venice and other renowned festivals including Toronto International Film Festival, AMANDA stars Benedetta Porcaroli as a young woman who lives mostly isolated and has never had any friends, even though it’s the thing she wants the most. She therefore embarks on a new mission to convince her childhood friend to believe that they are still best friends. This acclaimed debut feature by writer-director Carolina Cavalli is set for a UK release by Curzon in 2023. Including Q&A with the director. Sunday 5 February at 5:40pm.
UK Premiere: BURNING HEARTS (dir: Pippo Mezzapesa, Italy). Nominated for the Venice Horizons Award, BURNING HEARTS tells of a forbidden love that rekindles an old feud between two rival families. This brings the clans back into war and, following the ruthless codes of the local mafia, only blood can wash out blood. Filmed in black and white, it stars famous Italian singer Elodie, who in 2020 was the most listened to female artist on Spotify Italy. Including Q&A with the director. Friday 3 February at 6pm.
UK Premiere: CHIARA (dir: Susanna Nicchiarelli, Italy/Belgium). A multi-award winner at Venice, including Best New Young Actress for lead Margherita Mazzucco (who also stars in the television adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel My Brilliant Friend), CHIARA is a beautiful period biography of St. Clare of Assisi, who left her wealthy family to become a nun after hearing St. Francis preach. Including Q&A with the director. Sunday 5 February at 2:30pm.
UK Premiere: MONICA (dir: Andrea Pallaoro, United States/Italy). Nominated for the Golden Lion and Queer Lion, and winner of Best Italian Film at Venice, MONICA is set in the US and stars Transparent’s Trace Lysette as a trans woman who returns home to care for her dying mother Eugenia (Patricia Clarkson). Also starring Emily Browning, this delicate and nuanced story of a fractured family explores universal themes of abandonment, aging, acceptance, and redemption. Including Q&A with the director. Saturday 4 February at 3pm.
UK Premiere: THE MATCHMAKER (dir: Benedetta Argentieri, Italy). Feature documentary THE MATCHMAKER is a unique interview with Tooba Gondal, the woman who groomed and lured scores of Western women to join ISIS. Using social media, she became a deadly matchmaker, recruiting a number of high-profile “jihadi brides” for ISIS militants in Syria: she allegedly helped organise the transporting of three British schoolgirls, including Shamima Begum, to Syria. Including Q&A with the director. Saturday 4 February at 6pm.
… TO LONDON
Katia Pizzi, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in London, shares: “It’s my special pleasure to welcome to London the very best of contemporary Italian cinema from the Venice Film Festival. This is Italian film at its best: vibrant, riveting and visually stunning.”
Curzon’s Event Programmer Michael Garrad adds: “It is wonderful to welcome the Venice Biennale back to Curzon as exclusive exhibition partner for From Venice To London. We’re excited to be showing five of the best Italian films from the 2022 festival, each in their UK premiere.”