Valeria Golino's Honey, which will play at Film Society of Lincoln Center in March.

The Italians are coming…to a cinema near you. “Cinema Made In Italy,” is a new initiative that aims to promote Italian film in the United States, targeting five films from the Mediterranean country including Valeria Golino's Honey, which will play at Film Society of Lincoln Center beginning March 7.

Spearheaded by Emerging Pictures as well as Instituto Luce- Cinecittà and the Italian Trade Commission, the features, which also include Gianni Amelio's L'Intre-Pido, Marco Bellocchio's Dormant Beauty and Bernardo Bertolucci's Me and You will receive marketing and distribution support for the five with the goal of broadening their Stateside audiences. Emerging Pictures will oversee the program from a fund created by the initiatives Italian partners. All five films will receive a “nationwide release” according to principals behind the initiative.

The first film in the series was Paolo Sorrentino’s Academy Award nominated The Great Beauty, which Janus Films opened in the U.S., and has been one of 2013's most successful foreign-language films. It has picked up wins at the Golden Globes, the European Film Awards and is also nominated foreign-language prizes at the upcoming BAFTA and Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Actress Valeria Golino makes her directing debut with drama Honey, which will open at Film Society in March. It centers on Irene who lives alone outside Rome. Her father and married lover think she's a student, but in reality she frequently travels to Mexico to obtain a powerful barbiturate for a clandestine job — to help terminally-ill patients die with dignity. Working under the pseudonym Miele (“Honey”) she supplies a new client with a fatal dose, only to find out he was perfectly healthy, just “tired of life.”

“Italian cinema has always captured the imagination of American audiences since the heyday of Fellini, Pasolini, Visconti, De Sica and Rossellini,” said Emerging Pictures Managing Partner Ira Deutchman. “Our goal is to create a marketing and distribution initiative that will allow new Italian films to regularly enter the marketplace with a presence and to help create an ongoing new audience. We’re thrilled to be working with Instituto Luce-Cinecittà and the Italian Trade Commission to create this truly groundbreaking program.”

Films set for “Cinema Made In Italy” initiative:

Dormant Beauty (Bella Addormentata)
Director: Marco Belloccio
Cast: Toni Servillo, Isabelle Huppert, Alba Rohrwacher

Three stories, taking place over the course of a few days, involving a con- science-stricken politician, an obsessive mother and two young protestors on different sides, are skillfully interwoven in this gripping, beautifully realized film. Set against the background of the emotional and controversial real-life 2008 euthanasia case of Eluana Englaro, Dormant Beauty is a subtle and complex depiction of recent Italian history.

The Great Beauty (currently in release via Janus Films)
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferrili, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, Pamela Villoresi, Galatea Ranzi with Massimo de Francovich, Roberto Herlitzka, and with Isabella Ferrari

Journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo, Il Divo and Gomorrah) has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.

Honey (Miele)
Director: Valeria Golino
Cast: Jasmine Trinca, Carlo Cecchi, Libero De Rienzo, Vinicio Marchioni, Iaia Forte, Roberto De Francesco, Barbara Ronchi, Claudio Guain, Teresa Acerbis, Valeria Bilello, Massimiliano Iacolucci

Actress Valeria Golino makes her directing debut with Honey. Irene lives alone on the coastline outside Rome. To her father and her married lover, she’s a student. In reality, she often travels to Mexico where she can legally buy a powerful barbiturate. Working under the name of Miele (“Honey”), her clandestine job is to help terminally-ill people to die with dignity by giving them the drug. One day she supplies a new “client” with a fatal dose, only to find out he’s perfectly healthy but tired of life. Irene is determined not to be responsible for his suicide. From this point on, Irene and Grimaldi are unwillingly locked in an intense and moving relationship which will change Irene’s life forever.

Director: Gianni Amelio
Cast: Antonio Albanese, Sandra Ceccarelli, Livia Rossi, Gabriele Rendina, Alfonso Santagata

Set in modern day Milan, this is a Chaplin-esque odyssey through the world of work – every type of work, but primarily unskilled manual labor – seen through the eyes of a kind, middle-aged man who takes on every conceivable temporary job in order to be useful and have self respect. This really is a portrait of the highs and lows of modern life. At its heart is a sympathetic man (Antonio Albanese) who, despite loneliness and personal family problems, especially around his gifted but troubled musician son, remains defiantly optimistic even when terrible things happen to him and the people he meets.

Me And You (Io E Te)
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Cast: Tea Falco, Jacopo Olmo Antinori

Lorenzo, a solitary 14-year-old with difficulties relating to his daily life and the world around him, chooses to spend a week hidden in the basement of his house. But Lorenzo’s fragile and rebellious stepsister, Olivia, appears at her brother’s place of refuge and disturbs the quiet.