Italian Highlights at the 61st BFI London Film Festival

Istituto Luce Cinecittà – Filmitalia is delighted to announce that once again a selection of Italy’s latest cinematic highlights will screen at the forthcoming BFI London Film Festival (4 – 15 October). The seven feature films that will be shown are: NICO, 1988, HOLDING HANDS, EQUILIBRIUM, A CIAMBRA, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, SICILIAN GHOST STORY, and the restored version of Dario Argento’s cult thriller SUSPIRIA.


Susanna Nicchiarelli’s Nico, 1988 tells the tragic story of the former Velvet Underground singer, played by Trine Dyrholm, who also recorded her own vocals for the film. The film opened the Orrizonti section at the recent Venice International Film Festival, where it gained critical acclaim, and went on to win the Orrizonti Award for Best Film.


The 40th anniversary revival of Dario Argento’s iconic feature Suspiria (1977), starring Jessica HarperStefania Casini and Flavio Bucci, will play in the festival’s Cult section. The film has been recently restored in 4K from the original camera negative and intermediate negative elements.


Luca Guadagnino returns to the BFI London Film Festival with Call Me by Your Name, after 2015’s A Bigger Splash. Starring Armie Hammer Timothée Chalamet and Michael Stuhlberg, Call Me by Your Name makes its UK bow as The Mayor of London’s Gala, in the presence of Mayor Sadiq Khan. It had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Guadagnino, coincidentally, is working on his own update of Argento’s Suspiria.

Acclaimed director Gianni Amelio’s newest work, Holding Hands (La Tenerezza), will have its European premiere in the Love section. The cast features Elio GermanoMicaela Ramazzotti and Giovanna Mezzogiorno.

The Festival’s selection also includes two second features by up and coming filmmakers, both coming-of-age tales set in Italy’s south. A Ciambra is directed by Jonas Carpignano and stars Pio Amato, Koudous Seihon and Damanio Amato. It won the Europa Cinemas Label Award at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival, and has just opened in Italian cinemas. Sicilian Ghost Story, which also received its World Premiere in Cannes, is directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza, and stars new talent Julia Jedlikowska, Gaetano Fernandez and Corrinne Musallari. Both films will play in the Giving section.

Equilibrium (L’Equilibrio), directed by Vincenzo Marra, diverts from traditional storytelling with its bold and innovative approach to narrative. It is presented in the Journey strand, following its World Premiere at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival, where it played in the Venice Days section.

In addition, three Italian co-productions feature in the programme: Three Peaks directed by Jan Zabeil and starring Berenice Bejo; Looking For Oum Kulthum directed by Shirin Neshat; and the 1960’s classic French co-production, La Veritè (Truth) directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and starring Brigitte Bardot.

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