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March 2018 - Now Showing: NM Italian Film and Culture Festival

Italian Festivals of New Mexico is back with their 11th annual New Mexico Italian Film and Culture Festival. Created in 2007, the festival has championed the state’s underserved and disadvantaged children with donations totaling close to $300,000 to child-focused institutions and organizations. As in 2017, 2018’s festival proceeds will benefit NDI New Mexico.* President and Managing Director, Maria Arancio Berry shared why the festival is still going strong after 11 years and the passion those involved with the event have to see it be a success. “The festival is the largest, longest-running Italian event in the state. That’s as a result of a convergence of a lot of elements,” says Berry. “First of all, over the years, the individuals who produce the festival have always been passionate about what they do and why they do it. There’s tremendous enthusiasm for our beneficiaries – i.e. the children of our state. They’re our future, and we’re determined to help them to grow into healthy, happy, and productive adults.

Those who produce the festival are also passionate about and proud of their Italian heritage. (BTW, members of our organization who are not Italian are true lovers of Italian culture and join us enthusiastically in promoting it.) As noted, enthusiasm is contagious and, as a result, our audience continues to grow, and to return year after year.

Then, just look what we have to work with! The word “iconic” comes to mind. Italian cinema has influenced film production worldwide. It’s one of the many wonderful things that Italy is known for. The same goes for Italian cuisine. Who doesn’t like Italian food? Throw some Italian music, fashion, design, and art into the mix and, (forgive the overused expression), you have a perfect storm for a popular festival.”

The films that will be screened at the event is a year long process. Berry explained what goes into the process. “There is a film selection committee that “works” year round screening and evaluating contemporary Italian films. There’s always a waiting list to participate on the committee – obviously because it’s the most fun part of producing the festival. It’s a carefully selected committee of diverse folks with diverse backgrounds and tastes. The current leader of the committee, Michelle Michelotti Martinez, has a unique “feel” for what the audience will enjoy; and she also has a great sense of how to assemble the film lineup to represent a variety of genres. Once again, there’s a heap of enthusiasm among committee members for this aspect of festival production. The films form the foundation of the festival.”

The films have been selected. The entertainers are warming up their vocal chords and instruments. The young NDI dancers are rehearsing two sensational performances. Three mouthwatering event menus are in the works.* Audiences will enjoy themselves for another year. For more information, a full schedule, and tickets at

*Provided by Italian Festivals of New Mexico

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