New York, NY (April 22, 2016) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Istituto Luce Cinecittà announce the complete lineup for Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, June 2-8. For 16 years, Open Roads has proudly offered North American audiences the most diverse and extensive lineup of contemporary Italian film available. As always, the series includes both commercial and independent fare, ranging from a vérité documentary to a superhero movie, outrageous comedies to gripping dramas, with nine North American Premieres and in-person appearances by many of the filmmakers.

The 2016 edition strikes a satisfying balance between emerging talents and esteemed veterans, including two feature debuts—the lyrical coming-of-age tale Arianna by Carlo Lavagna and Adriano Valerio’s poetic Banat, starring I Am Love’s Edoardo Gabbriellini—plus the latest from Gianni Zanasi (The Complexity of Happiness) and Vincenzo Marra (First Light), and the final work from late cult director Claudio Caligari, Don’t Be Bad, Italy’s submission for the 2015 Best Foreign Language Oscar.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Ettore Scola’s brilliant satirical tragedy Ugly, Dirty and Bad, for which he won the Best Director award at Cannes in 1976. Starring the great Nino Manfredi as a patriarch who refuses to share the payout of an insurance policy with his outrageous family, the film will screen in a beautiful new digital restoration at a special anniversary screening.

Other notable North American premieres include Gabriele Mainetti’s gritty superhero anti-blockbuster They Call Me Jeeg, winner of seven David di Donatello Awards (Italy’s top film honors); the witty relationship comedy Solo by writer-director-star Laura Morante; Claudio Cupellini’s torrid love saga The Beginners; the Dardenne Brothers–produced Long Live the Bride by Ascanio Celestini; Maria Sole Tognazzi’s lesbian romantic comedy Me, Myself and Her; Gianluca De Serio & Massimiliano De Serio’s River Memories, a vérité portrait of a Turin shantytown; and revered documentary filmmaker Gianfranco Pannone’s The Smallest Army in the World, paired with the premiere of the short documentary Viva Ingrid!, about Ingrid Bergman’s years in Italy, directed by Alessandro (grandson of Roberto) Rossellini.

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Istituto Luce Cinecittà. Organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan.

Tickets will go on sale Thursday, May 12. A pre-sale to Film Society members will begin Tuesday, May 10. Single tickets are $14; $11 for students and seniors (62+); and $9 for Film Society members. See more and save with the $99 All Access Pass or the 3+ film discount package. Visit for more information.

Italian Trade Commission; Italian Cultural Institute New York; Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò—NYU; Antonio Monda.



All screenings take place at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street) unless otherwise noted.

40th Anniversary Screening
Ugly, Dirty and Bad / Brutti, sporchi e cattivi
Ettore Scola, Italy, 1976, 115m
Italian with English subtitles
A master of the commedia all’italiana, Ettore Scola won Best Director 40 years ago at the Cannes Film Festival for this outrageous “satirical tragedy” about a sub-proletariat household in Rome. The sprawling extended Mazzatella family lives shoulder to shoulder in a shack that overlooks a busy highway. In an extraordinary comic performance, the great Nino Manfredi stars as Giacinto, the grizzled old patriarch who has received a one-million-lire insurance payout for the loss of his left eye—money he refuses to share with any of the two-dozen children, grandchildren, and assorted other relatives who share his cramped abode. Soon enough, the family members are plotting their revenge, only to discover that Giacinto has no plans of going gently into that good night. Returning to the screen in a beautiful new digital restoration, Scola’s film contains a pitch-perfect blend of hilarity and brutality, which amounts to a brilliant portrait of squalor and cynicism unlike any other. A Film Movement Classics release. New digital restoration!
Saturday, June 4, 1:00pm
Tuesday, June 7, 8:00pm*
*Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street

Carlo Lavagna, Italy, 2015, 84m
Italian with English subtitles
“I was born twice. Actually, three times.” So begins director Carlo Lavagna’s feature debut, a beguiling and lyrical coming-of-age story centered on timely and timeless questions about gender, adulthood, family, and self-knowledge. Unfolding on an idyllic lakeshore in the Italian countryside, the film features first-time actress Ondina Quadri as the young woman of the title who, years after leaving, returns with her parents to her early-childhood home for a summer retreat. While there, she embarks on a profoundly personal emotional journey, spurred on by enigmatic memories and present-day desires, and gradually sheds light on secrets from her past that will transform her relationships and understanding of herself. An Uncork’d Entertainment release.
Sunday, June 5, 3:30pm (Q&A with Ondina Quadri)
Wednesday, June 8, 4:30pm (Intro with Ondina Quadri)

Banat (Il Viaggio)
Adriano Valerio, Italy/Romania/Bulgaria/Republic of Macedonia, 2015, 85m
English, Italian, and Romanian with English subtitles
In the Italian city of Bari, Ivo (I Am Love’s Edoardo Gabbriellini), an unemployed agronomist, is moving out of his apartment and preparing to take a job in Romania, just as Clara (Elena Radonicich), a newly single shipbuilder, is moving in. Though the two cross paths for only a day, it’s the beginning of a surprising journey—both geographic and emotional—for them both as she eventually follows him to Romania, where they set about trying to start a new life together on a hardscrabble farm. Beautifully blending realism with moments of quiet poetry, the promising feature debut from Adriano Valerio is a sensitively observed study of cross-cultural exchange and souls in transition.
Friday, June 3, 1:00pm (Q&A with Adriano Valerio)
Wednesday, June 8, 6:30pm

The Beginners / Alaska
Claudio Cupellini, Italy/France, 2015, 125m
Italian and French with English subtitles
This torrid saga of money, sex, and violence is a wild, careening joyride. When Fausto (Elio Germano), an Italian man living in France, meets Nadine (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), an aspiring model, it ignites an obsessive, years-long case of l’amour fou that takes the couple from the highest highs to the lowest lows, from prison to power and fortune, and from love to hate and everything in between. Driven by the explosive chemistry between Germano and Bergès-Frisbey and backed by a soundtrack that skips from indie rock to Motown to opera, The Beginners is a breathless, one-of-a-kind love story that keeps the shocking surprises and hairpin turns coming. North American Premiere
Friday, June 3, 8:45pm (Q&A with Claudio Cupellini)
Wednesday, June 8, 2:00pm

Call Me Francesco – The Pope / Chiamatemi Francesco – Il Papa della gente
Daniele Luchetti, Italy, 2015, 98m
Spanish with English subtitles
This unsentimental biopic forgoes hagiography to delve into the darkest chapter of the life of the man the world now knows as Pope Francis. Before he was the leader of the Catholic Church, he was Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a young priest living in Buenos Aires. As he rises through the ranks of the church, Bergoglio (played by The Motorcycle Diaries star Rodrigo de la Serna) finds himself frequently at odds with the brutal military dictatorship that ruled Argentina in the 1970s, a potentially perilous situation that forces him to make some tough moral choices. Told with the verve of a political thriller, Call Me Francesco – The Pope is a humanizing look at the experiences that shaped one of the world’s most influential men.
Sunday, June 5, 6:00pm 

The Complexity of Happiness / La felicità è un sistema complesso
Gianni Zanasi, Italy, 2015, 114m
English and Italian with English subtitles
In Gianni Zanasi’s latest feature, Valerio Mastandrea stars as Enrico Giusti, a comfortably unattached businessman whose empathy and compassion are put to the test when, returning home one night from a business trip, he finds a lonely Israeli exchange student (Hadas Yaron) waiting in his apartment, abandoned there by his commitment-averse younger brother. Just as he’s beginning to navigate this unexpected turn in his personal life, Enrico’s professional life will take on its own unforeseen complications when he is named co-director of a family-run corporation, along with the two recently orphaned, adolescent children of the company’s founders. Anchored by Mastandrea’s warm, subtly generous lead performance, this film quietly asks what it means to make a positive difference in the lives of others, and suggests that kindness and simple human decency can go a long way in improving the lives of everyone they touch.
Saturday, June 4, 3:30pm (Q&A with Gianni Zanasi)

Don’t Be Bad / Non essere cattivo
Claudio Caligari, Italy, 2015, 102m
Italian with English subtitles
The final film from the late cult director Claudio Caligari (Toxic Love) is a gritty, hard-hitting crime saga set in Ostia (the outskirts of Rome immortalized by Pasolini) in the 1990s. Best friends Cesare (Luca Marinelli) and Vittorio (Alessandro Borghi) are petty drug dealers whose favorite pastimes are getting high and drinking themselves into oblivion. But when Vittorio endeavors to turn his life around, the self-destructive Cesare spirals further downward. Submitted as Italy’s candidate for the 2015 Best Foreign Language Oscar, Don’t Be Bad evocatively captures the cocaine-fueled, neon-nightclub highs and the grim, morning-after lows of life in the fast lane.
Thursday, June 2, 8:30pm
Monday, June 6, 4:15pm

First Light / La prima luce
Vincenzo Marra, Italy, 2015, 104m
Spanish and Italian with English subtitles
This gripping human drama tackles a complex issue—an international custody battle—with emotion and suspense. One of Italy’s best-known stars, Riccardo Scamarcio, plays Marco, a lawyer with a short fuse but an undeniable love for the son he has with his long-term partner Martina (Daniela Ramirez). Alienated in Italy and desperately unhappy in her relationship, Martina longs to return home to South America. One day, while Marco is away, she does the unthinkable: books a one-way plane ticket and absconds with her son back to Chile. What begins as an absorbing relationship drama develops into a low-key thriller as the desperate Marco travels halfway across the world to find his child. Director and erstwhile documentarian Vincenzo Marra lends a vivid realism to this compelling look at the lengths a parent will go for his child. Winner of a Francesco Pasinetti Award at the Venice Film Festival. North American Premiere.
Friday, June 3, 3:30pm (Q&A with Vincenzo Marra)
Wednesday, June 8, 8:30pm

God Willing / Se Dio vuole
Edoardo Maria Falcone, Italy, 2015, 84m
Italian with English subtitles
The great “faith vs. reason” debate gets a comedic workout in this by turns goofy and heartfelt satire. Tommaso (Marco Giallini), a famed surgeon, is thrown for a loop when his son Andrea (Enrico Oetiker) informs him that he wants to ditch his medical studies and become a priest. A strict atheist who believes the boy is squandering his potential, Tommaso embarks on a harebrained campaign to discredit the charismatic, motorcycle-riding evangelist (Alessandro, son of Vittorio, Gassman) influencing Andrea—but finds his own values being transformed in the process. Far from preachy, God Willing gently lampoons bourgeois vapidity, while offering a fresh perspective on the role of spirituality in the modern world.
Saturday, June 4, 6:30pm (Q&A with Edoardo Falcone and Laura Morante)

Long Live the Bride / Viva la sposa
Ascanio Celestini, Italy/France/Belgium, 2015, 87m
Italian with English subtitles
The Dardenne Brothers co-produced this engagingly offbeat character study, which, like the acclaimed auteurs’ own work, is set on the lowest rungs and in the outermost margins of society. The film’s sinister humor and subtle surrealism, however, belong entirely to writer-director-star Ascanio Celestini. He plays Nicola, an aimless alcoholic who (barely) supports himself doing (wildly inappropriate) children’s theater, but primarily spends his time wandering the outskirts of Rome in his big red van and consorting with various other misfits: a fellow barfly (Alba Rohrwacher), a prostitute (Veronica Cruciani), and a con man (Salvatore Striano) who teaches Nicola the tricks of his trade. Their intersecting lives form a picaresque, ultimately poignant portrait of people on the edge. North American Premiere
Tuesday, June 7, 6:00pm*
*Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street

Me, Myself and Her / Io e lei
Maria Sole Tognazzi, Italy, 2015, 102m
Italian with English subtitles
On the surface, Federica (Margherita Buy) and Marina (Sabrina Ferilli) appear to have the perfect relationship, sharing a posh apartment in Rome, working dream jobs (architect and restaurateur, respectively) by day, and cozying up on the couch to watch episodes of Top of the Lake by night. But when retired actress Marina suddenly decides to get back into the movies and Federica—still questioning her sexuality—pursues a fling with a man, their commitment to each other is put to the test. Blending light-as-a-soufflé comedy, postcard-perfect views of Italy, and witty observations on the challenges that all couples face, this irresistible romance is as refreshing as a Mediterranean vacation. A Wolfe Releasing release. North American Premiere
Thursday, June 2, 6:00pm (Q&A with Maria Sole Tognazzi)
Tuesday, June 7, 1:30pm

River Memories / I ricordi del fiume
Gianluca De Serio & Massimiliano De Serio, Italy, 2015, 96m
Romanian and Italian with English subtitles
Along a river in Turin, over 1,000 people live in a sprawling makeshift shantytown, a vibrant multiethnic melting pot slated to be razed by the government. As some residents are relocated to public housing and others are left dispossessed, this vérité documentary captures everyday moments from the last days of life in the community—children playing amid the rubble, a family praying fervently at home, revelry at a late-night fireside gathering. A haunting, strikingly shot work of anthropological preservation, River Memories is an elegiac record of a vanishing way of life. North American Premiere
Sunday, June 5, 1:00pm (Q&A with Gianluca De Serio & Massimiliano De Serio)

The World’s Smallest Army / L’esercito più piccolo del mondo
Gianfranco Pannone, Italy, 2015, 80m
Italian, German, and French with English subtitles
The renowned documentarian Gianfranco Pannone turns his camera on “the smallest army in the world”: the Pontifical Swiss Guard, a centuries-old military unit comprised of young Swiss soldiers who are stationed at the Vatican and tasked with guarding the Pope. The film follows Leo and René as they bid farewell to their families in Switzerland and embark on the first months of their assignment in Rome. Under Pannone’s inquisitive and sensitive gaze, the young men are fitted for customary striped uniforms, train in the drills and procedures of the Guard, practice their Italian-language skills, and contemplate the cultural and personal significance of participating in a religious and military tradition that has been sustained over hundreds of years in the Church’s history. Leo, René, and their fellow guardsmen are compelling and endearing subjects, and the documentary doubles as a joyous love letter to the sights and sounds of the ancient city. North American Premiere

Screening with:

Viva Ingrid!
Alessandro Rossellini, Italy, 2015, 20m
English, Italian, and French with English subtitles
This charming ode to the late Ingrid Bergman tells the story of her time spent in Italy, beginning with the production of her first film with Roberto Rossellini (the director’s grandfather), and ending with the couple’s separation eight years later—narrated via a collage of home movies, interviews, newsreel footage, and scenes from her films. North American Premiere
Sunday, June 5, 8:30pm (Q&A with Gianfranco Pannone)

Solo / Assolo
Laura Morante, Italy, 2016, 97m
Italian with English subtitles
The multitalented Laura Morante wrote, directed, and stars in this snappy relationship comedy, which plays like a Woody Allen sex farce told from the female point of view. Morante is Flavia, a neurotic middle-aged woman and human doormat, who clings to her two remarried ex-husbands while letting her female friends walk all over her. With the help of her no-nonsense therapist (Piera Degli Esposti), the timid Flavia confronts her fear of being alone and sets out to reclaim her life. Boasting a delightfully deadpan lead performance and bursting with playful stylistic touches—including surreal fantasy sequences and fourth-wall-breaking direct addresses—Solo is a witty, wise, and empowering portrait of a late bloomer coming into her own. North American Premiere.
Friday, June 3, 6:15pm (Q&A with Laura Morante)
Monday, June 6, 2:00pm

They Call Me Jeeg / Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot
Gabriele Mainetti, Italy, 2015, 112m
Italian with English subtitles
After a plunge into Rome’s toxic Tiber River, Enzo (Claudio Santamaria), a porn-addicted petty criminal, finds himself transformed into an indestructible, superhuman strongman. Against his own instincts, he becomes something of an avenging angel: the protector of an emotionally fragile, anime-obsessed young woman (who believes he is the robot hero of the 1970s manga series Steel Jeeg) and the nemesis of a sadistic, germophobic gangster (Luca Marinelli). This gritty, grimy take on the superhero film is the antidote to Hollywood-slick blockbusters. It’s bloody, bruising, bone-crunching, and a total blast. Winner of seven David di Donatello Awards. An Uncork’d Entertainment release.  North American Premiere
Saturday, June 4, 8:45pm (Q&A with Gabriele Mainetti)
Tuesday, June 7, 3:30pm

Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Art of the Real, Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, and Scary Movies. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, the Film Society recognizes an artist’s unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award, whose 2016 recipient is Morgan Freeman. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from American Airlines, The New York Times, HBO, Stella Artois, The Kobal Collection, Variety, Loews Regency Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

Istituto Luce Cinecittà is the state-owned company whose main shareholder is the Italian Ministry for Culture subsidizing its activities on an annual basis.
Istituto Luce Cinecittà holds one of the most important European film and photographic archives, in which materials are collected and digitally categorized, including its own productions and materials, derived from private collections and acquisitions by a variety of sources. It is the largest audiovisual collection concerning the history of the twentieth century and it has also been a candidate by UNESCO-Italy to the membership in the registry ‘Memory of the World.’
Istituto Luce Cinecittà cooperates with major film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Locarno, New York, London, etc., by organizing national selections, guaranteeing the presence of Italian films and artists in the various festivals, and by providing multifunctional spaces to help the promotion of our cinematography and it is the reference place for all Italian and foreign operators. It is also involved with the direct organization of numerous Film Festival around the world: The Festival of Italian Cinema in Tokyo, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema in New York, London’s Cinema Made in Italy, Mittelcinemafest, and The Festival of Italian Cinema in Barcelona, Istanbul, and Buenos Aires.
Istituto Luce Cinecittà also owns a film library, Cineteca, containing around 3000 titles of the most significant Italian film productions, subtitled in foreign languages, which serve in promoting Italian culture at major national and international institutes around the world. In collaboration with the Italian Ministry for the Foreign Affairs, restorations and new prints are added every year.
Istituto Luce Cinecittà is responsible for editing a daily on-line news magazine, CinecittaNews, which delivers the latest breaking news on the principal activities involving Italian Cinema as well as its developing legislative and institutional aspects.

For media specific inquiries please contact:

Film Society of Lincoln Center
Rachel Allen, [email protected], 212-875-5423
Lisa Thomas, [email protected], 212-671-4709

Istituto Luce Cinecittà
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