If one wanted to make the case for both the historical importance and the continuing creative vitality of the Italian cinema, it would be tough to top the pairing Cinema Italian Style honorees Bernardo Bertolucci and Paolo Sorrentino. The two filmmakers combine the scope of Italian cinema. This makes this year’s Cinema Italian Style celebration in Hollywood a great chance for fans of European film to explore Italy’s key role in its development and continuing importance.

Oscar-winning director Bertolucci’s place in cinema history is assured, and one of his masterworks, “The Last Emperor,” is getting the 21st century treatment at CIS via a newly created 3D version that will unspool at the AFI Fest Nov. 10 before hitting theaters and homevideo.

The 3D version of the film preemed at Cannes earlier this year in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

Vet Italian producer Roberto Cicutto, who’s also CEO of CIS’ co-producing partner, the Luce Cinecitta Institute, calls “Emperor” an epic film that embodies Bertolucci’s essence, a vital force always committed to fuse poetical language with the most innovative means of expression.”

Cicutto deems the internationally acclamed director Sorrentino “a great author of the new generation of Italian cinema.” Sorrentino is in the thick of this year’s Oscar race with the Italian entry for foreign-language film, “The Great Beauty,” which opens this year’s CIS with a gala screening in collaboration with the AFI Fest on Nov. 14.

Among the other highlights are programs celebrating the work of Italian cinema legend Federico Fellini. This year’s CIS is dedicated to Fellini and commemorates the 20th anniversary of the maestro’s passing. CIS will partner with the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theater in Santa Monica and screen Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” and Ettore Scola’s latest film, “How Strange to Be Named Federico,” dedicated to their life-long friendship.

Festival Highlights

U.S. Premiere

Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty” kicks off the festival. Sorrentino will be joined on the red carpet by Bernardo Bertolucci, and both directors will receive the Cinema Italian Style Award. The opening-night presentation is in collaboration with the AFI Fest, which is presenting the pic in its World Cinema program.

Pic Selections

Paolo Genovese’s “A Perfect Family”; Riccardo Milani’s “Welcome Mr. President”; Valeria Golino’s directorial debut “Honey”; Maria Sole Tognazzi’s “A Five Star Life”; Roberto Ando’s “Long Live Freedom”; Daniele Luchetti’s “Those Happy Years”; Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Best Offer”; and Leonardo Di Costanzo’s “The Interval” are all skedded to unspool at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica.

Snap Shots

The Los Angeles Italian Cultural Institute also presents a documentary series. The Institute will also host the photography exhibition “Portraits” by Fabio Lovino. The exhibition runs Nov. 14-Dec. 31.


Movie’n Food is an event organized by Dress in Dreams celebrating the relationship between food and cinema.

(Pictured: Oscar hopeful “The Great Beauty” opens Italian Cinema Week.)