Embassy RowEvents


It’s free!


DATE: 21- 28 November 2013
Showing of the inaugural film LA MIA CLASE: 22 November
VENUE: Cines Verdi, C/ Bravo Murillo 28, Metroline 2, Canal or Quevedo station
PRICE: FREE . The tickets will be made available everyday from 4:00 PM at the box office
ORIGINAL version with subtitles

Film festival is under the auspices of the Italian Embassy in Madrid, and sponsored the Italian Ministry of Cultural Activities and ENDESA. ILLY Caffè and FIAT collaborate.
For more info: and the App of the festival


LA MIA CLASSE directed by Daniel Gaglianone

Inaugural film

Award: Mostra Internacional de Cine de Venecia 2013 Giornate degli autori / Venice Days.

la mia classe
Review: Cheri Passel,
Italy, a country in crisis, has the same worries as refugees who, trying to save their lives and the lives of their families, flood [the] country. Italy is by nature a very charitable country, and yet it is being tested severely these days. No one wants to be the one to deny food to another human being, and yet how can you give what you don’t have?

La Mia Classe is [a] bittersweet look into the lives of a group of immigrants who are trying to learn Italian and find jobs so that they can stay in Italy. Their stories are different and yet the same, all homesick and sad, but determined not to return to the impossible problems that they’ve left behind.
Ed’s Note: Most of the cast are real-life student immigrants.


MIELE,  Valeria Golino

Awards: Festival de Cine de Cannes 2013: Una Cierta Mirada. Mención Especial – Premio del Jurado Ecuménico. Premios del Cine Europeo 2013: Nominada al Premio Descubrimiento del Año (Valeria Golino). Globos de Oro Italia 2013: Premio a la Mejor Actriz (Jasmine Trinca) y Mejor Opera Prima. Nastri d’Argento 2013: Premio a la Mejor Nueva Directora, Premio a la Mejor Actriz y Premio al Mejor Sonido. Festival de Cine Europeo de Bruselas 2013: Premio del Público.

Topical drama









Review by Adrian Watton, published in
” Irene, aka Honey, is an independent young woman with a seemingly uncomplicated life. But, in fact, it’s all a sham: a front for a complex secret existence ‘helping’ terminally ill people of all ages and stratas of society to end their lives. When she is called to an assignment where all her convictions are challenged, everything changes. Thought provoking, emotionally arresting and cleverly told, Honey is a carefully balanced, distinctive movie that avoids being agitprop for either side of the euthanasia debate. Its nuance is embellished by the sensitivity with which it depicts the situations in which Honey finds herself, and is anchored by strong performances from Jasmine Trinca as Honey and Carlo Cecchi as the challenging Grimaldi.”


L’ARBITRO,  Paolo Zucca

Award: Mostra Internacional de Cine de Venecia 2013 Giornate degli autori / Venice Days










The screenplay of Paolo Zucca and Barbara Alberti shows . . . the story of two Italian teams at the lowest football levels in Italy. “The story of the two teams alternates with that of the spectacular rise of Cruciani, an ambitious referee who shoots to the highest levels on the international scene, only to get an unpleasant surprise…” says the [Venice] film festival on their website.

[What the] movie company Le Pacte says about the movie: “An International referee, a blind trainer, an untamed shrew, a revengeful shepherd and a dubious goleador share the fate of the most disjointed football championship in the world.”


L’INTREPIDO,  Gianni Amelio

Awards/Distinctions: Mostra Internacional de Venecia 2013: Sección Oficial – Premio Pasinetti al Mejor Actor (Antonio Albanese), Premio Lanterna Magica y Premio Fondazione Mimmo Rotella. Festival Internacional de Cine de Toronto 2013: Presentación Especial.


Review by Camilo de Marco in
L’intrepido starts as a comedy about a 50-year-old called Antonio Pane who works as a “replacer” in Milan, meaning he takes on the work of whoever needs to be away from their job for a day so that they do not lose it. This means he goes from being a builder, a busboy and a fish market worker, to a tram driver and a caregiver. He does this for a corrupt gym owner who exploits him without even giving him the right fee.

Antonio keeps on smiling though. He smiles at his 20-year-old son Ivo, a tormented saxophone player. He smiles at Lucia, another 20-year-old he meets at one of those competition where winning is never possible.

The comedy of this man who smiles in order to avoid admitting he is a loser quickly transforms into a worrying drama. The signs are clear: his boss sends him to accompany a silent child to the park where he is to hand him over to an old man who is most probably not his grandfather. The underwear shop he works in through his ex-wife’s new partner turns out to be a cover for laundered money. Young Lucia decides to commit suicide. It is all too much for Antonio. And perhaps the solution is to go and work in the mines in Albania. The only hope that is left is passed on to the next generation. Antonio will replace Ivo for one time only and pass on the uncomfortable testimony of a generation that has failed.



Awards: Mostra Internacional de Cine de Venecia 2013: Semana Internacional de la Crítica – Premio del Público, Premio Schermi di Qualità y Premio FEDIC.


Review by Jay Weissberg,
Firmly planted in the vine-rich soil of Italy’s northeastern region of Friuli and neighboring Slovenia, “Zoran” aspires to an American indie feel. . .

Friuli’s traditions, especially its wine and music, lend a special zest to “Zoran,” steeped in the spirit of towns close to the city of Gorizia, whose earthy residents while away the hours in rustic taverns when there’s no more land to work. Paolo is a misanthropic vulgarian wedded to cheap local vino. He’s a cantankerous worker at a retirement home cafeteria, spending most of his waking hours soused in a bar owned by Gustino or stalking indulgent ex-wife Stefania.

Basically, Paolo hasn’t moved on since his marriage fell apart. Then he learns an aunt in Slovenia has died, and he drives across the border hoping for an inheritance. Instead, he’s put in charge of 16-year-old Zoran, a nephew he’s never met who needs a place to stay for five days before he’s placed in a youth home. Paolo’s interest in playing uncle is zilch until he discovers the socially awkward Zoran is a darts whiz, and concocts a scheme to win bagfuls of money by entering the teen in an international tournament.

As this is a feel-good pic, it comes as no surprise that Zoran turns out to be just the thing Paolo needs to shake him out of his cranky torpor. There are genuine laughs here, though rather too many yuks come from region-specific accents and liquor. . .


ITALIAN MOVIES,  Matteo Pellegrini


Distinction: International film Festival of Rome 2013 official entry

italian movies

Synopsis by
Cleaners, emigrants from all over the world, work in night shift at studio sound stages where Italian soap operas are filmed. Once they find unlocked one of the doors to rooms where cameras and shooting equipment is stored. And Hindu Dilip stumbles on a great idea: to film his friend’s wedding ceremony as a gift to him. Quite soon this idea becomes the second source of income for the whole shift team of cleaners and changes their lives forever. After many ceremonies and guest nights they decide to use the empty sound stages at night to film the real stories of real people. The TV «soap» during the day and the real life stories at night… A small screw in the huge television machine. But how long will it last?



CON IL FIATO SOSPESO,  Constanza Quatrigilio

Award: Mostra Internacional de Cine de Venecia 2013: Sección Oficial Fuera de Concurso, Premio Gillo Pontecorvo


Synopsis by, official web site of the Venice Biennale
Stella is studying to be a pharmacist at university. When the time comes to write her thesis she is inserted in a research group. She gradually comes to realize that something is wrong in the chemistry laboratories. The environment is unhealthy, a few people are beginning to feel ill, the professors speak of coincidence. Her friend Anna, who has given up her studies to play in an indie-punk band, wants Stella to stop working in those laboratories. But Stella is determined not to give up her dream. Inspired by the diary of Emanuele, a researcher in pharmaceutics at the University of Catania who died of lung cancer in December 2003, five years before the chemistry laboratories were closed for environmental pollution.



Awards: Mostra Internacional de Cine de Venecia 2013: Semana Internacional de la Crítica, Evento Especial – Premio Arca CinemaGiovani. Festival de Cine de Raindance 2013: Mejor Opera Prima


Review: Charel Muller in
The International Critic’s Week section of this year’s Venice Film Festival was opened by L’arte della Felicità (The Art of Happiness), by Italian debut-directorAlessandro Rak.

The film is of a rare breed: an animated film aimed at adults, about identity, nostalgia and memory. It tells the story of Sergio, a taxi-driver from [and in] Napoli, who finds himself in the middle of an identity crisis. He’s given up on his dream to become a pianist, he’s divorced from his wife and his older brother Alfredo, who’s been a guiding figure all of his life, has left him to become a Buddhist monk in Asia. As a result, Sergio lives in the past; all he has are memories. Neither the present nor the future seems to interest him.

The film depicts Sergio’s disorientation through a series of long conversations with patrons in his cab. While one might think that this structure could make the film episodic and incoherent, this is not the case as the different chapters are linked thorough flashbacks and Antonio Fresa and Luigi Scialdone’s beautiful score. Using different animation styles give a fascinating insight into Sergio’s mind.


LA GRANDE BELLEZZA, Paolo Sorrentino

Closing film

Awards/Distinctions: Representante por Italia a los Premios Oscar 2014. Globos de Oro Italia 2013: Premio EFA 2013 al Mejor Montaje. Globos de Oro Italia 2013: Mejor Fotografía. 5 Premios Nastri d’Argento 2013: Mejor Actor Secundario (Carlo Verdone), Mejor Actriz Secundaria (Sabrina Ferilli), Mejor Sonido y Mejor Fotografía. Premio Especial a Toni Servillo por su interpretación.

grande bellezza

Review by Peter Bradshaw,
Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza is a compelling tragicomedy of Italy’s leisured classes in the tradition of Antonioni’s La Notte or Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. It is a pure sensual overload of richness and strangeness and sadness, a film sometimes on the point of swooning with dissolute languour, savouring its own ennui like a truffle. But more often it’s defiantly rocking out, keeping the party going as the night sky pales, with all the vigour of well-preserved, middle-aged rich people who can do hedonism better than the young. It is set in Rome, populated by the formerly beautiful and the currently damned. . .