October 2021 - LET US ENTERTAIN YOU: Italian Film & Culture Festival


Following the pandemic pause of 2020, the 13th edition of New Mexico’s largest, longest running celebration of Italian cinema and culture resumes with critically-acclaimed dramas, laugh-out-loud comedies, and a special feature Showcase Film of significant social and historical importance.


The 2021 program also includes the festival’s classic closing food/wine/live music event hosted by festival title sponsor, Nick & Jimmy’s Restaurant.


The festival launches on Tuesday, October 12 at 6:45 PM at the Hiland Theater with an always-dazzling performance by the young NDI dancers and the opening night film, Criminali a domicilio (Bob and Marys), a light-hearted crime comedy.

The festival continues on Wednesday with an outrageous comedy, Metti la nonna in freezer (Put Grandma in the Freezer), on Thursday with the mystery thriller, Una storia senza nome (The Stolen Caravaggio), and on Friday with 10 giorni senza mamma (When Mom is Away), which was Italy’s hilarious box office hit in 2019. An NDI live dance performance precedes the Friday evening film at 6:45.


The festival’s Showcase Film takes center stage on Saturday, at 2:00 PM with the screening of Gli Innocenti (The Innocents of Florence), a riveting and beautifully filmed documentary that tells the little-known story of the forgotten children of Florence and the women who saved them with the establishment of Europe’s first children’s hospital and orphanage in 1445.

Saturday evening, treats the audience to a spy comedy, Ma cosa ci dice il cervello (Don’t Stop Me Now), teeming with laughs and international intrigue.


The festival closes on Sunday and is all about food. It begins at 3:00 PM at the Hiland Theater with Quanto Basta (As Needed), a heartwarming dramedy about a renowned chef and his young protégé who suffers from Asperger’s. The film is followed by the final dinner where, once again, Italian Meets Greek at festival title sponsor Nick & Jimmy’s Restaurant features a Mediterranean inspired dinner, wine and live music.


Festival 2021 welcomes two new title sponsors, the Garcia Alfa Romeo dealership, as well as long-time festival supporters and donors, Carl and Linda Alongi. The Garcias and Alongis join Nick & Jimmy’s Restaurant in supporting the festival with sponsorships valued at $5000.


The NM Italian Film & Culture Festival is a unique cultural offering on many levels, but its centerpiece is always film. Italian cinema has had a major influence on the film industry worldwide. Italian filmmakers are gifted storytellers who continue to expose audiences to a broad range of genres, trends, and social commentary, and who remain at the forefront of global cinematic art. The festival showcases the very best of contemporary Italian filmmaking.


The festival is a fundraising benefit for the children served by the state’s premier youth development organization, NDI New Mexico. “We’re passionate about celebrating Italian cinema and culture in New Mexico and proud to have raised nearly $350,000 for children’s causes through our festivals”, notes festival Director, Dan Puccetti. Full Schedule and Tickets at www.italianfestivalsnm.org. - Maria Arancio Berry

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