Italian film festival starts today, runs Sept. 27-Oct. 1

Sugar Land will host a five-day international Italian film festival beginning Wednesday. Umbria in Sugar Land will feature subtitled film screenings, an art exhibit, and an educational seminar with film professionals. An opening ceremony will take place in Lonnie Green Park with city officials, delegates from Italy, and film industry professionals.

“The city of Sugar Land felt like [the festival] was a good opportunity to highlight the important role that cultural arts play in the community,” said Lindsay Davis, the city’s cultural arts manager.

Seven films will compete for the Umbria in Sugar Land Awards for best film, best screenplay, best cinematography, and best directing, according to the event’s official website. The judging committee includes a panel of film directors, writers, and curators.

During the seminar, attendees can also hear from industry experts on the art of filmmaking. Clements High School sophomore Adrian Pacini will also screen his stop-motion short film “Beyond.”

Sugar Land resident Tiziana Triolo first presented the project to city council in spring 2016.

“I relocated to the United States in 2011,” Triolo said. “I was always involved in promoting Italian culture in our area. I was the former program marketing director of Italian Cultural and Community Center [in Houston] for almost six years.”

A native Sicilian from the capital city of Palermo, Triolo said although she no longer works as the center’s program marketing director, she is still the point of contact for those who want to bring an Italian project to this region of the U.S.

A friend of Triolo’s brought up the idea of bringing the Italian festival to the U.S., so Triolo quickly drafted a proposal for Sugar Land City Council, Triolo said.

“I decided to offer this to the city of Sugar Land because I believe we in Fort Bend County—and Texas in general—are among the areas with strongest economic and demographic growth of the entire nation,” she said.

The festival is an annual celebration in Italy, and began in 2012, Triolo said.

Triolo said this festival is an opportunity to promote culture, tourism, and economic developments as well as to foster a future relationship with the region of Umbria and the city of Spello.

“Our hope is this would be an annual event, not a one-time only festival,” Triolo said. “I hope after the festival we can sit down and we can start planning the second edition of this festival with the experience [we’ll gain] from this year.”

Umbria in Sugar Land, as the festival is called, is the result of a collaborative partnership among the city, the Fort Bend County Chamber of Commerce, the region of Umbria, the city of Spello, and the International Film Festival of Spello, Davis said.

“All of these entities came together to put together this film festival, so that ended up being a very unique opportunity for the city of Sugar Land to have a cultural arts opportunity that has some really strong partners to help assist in creating an accessible event,” Davis said.

Tickets may be purchased here.

UMBRIA IN SUGAR LAND SCHEDULE, SEPT. 27-OCT. 1

Wednesday

Umbrian Art Exhibit
Historic Sugar Land Auditorium
226 Lakeview Drive, Sugar Land
12-5 p.m.

Opening Ceremony, 2017 Umbria in Sugar Land Cinematic Awards Presentation, and Aperitivo Reception
Lonnie Green Park
130 First St., Sugar Land
4:45 p.m.

Screening of “La mia Italia” (My Italy)
Historic Sugar Land Auditorium
226 Lakeview Drive, Sugar Land
7 p.m.

Thursday

Aperitivo Reception
Lonnie Green Park
130 First St., Sugar Land
6 p.m.

Screening of “Il bene dal male” (Maternity Blues)
Historic Sugar Land Auditorium
226 Lakeview Drive, Sugar Land
7 p.m.

Friday

Aperitivo Reception
Lonnie Green Park
130 First St., Sugar Land
6 p.m.

Screening of “Torneranno I Prati” (Greenery Will Bloom Again)
Historic Sugar Land Auditorium
226 Lakeview Drive, Sugar Land
7 p.m

Saturday

Framing Italian Cinema Seminar
Fort Bend County Chamber of Commerce
445 Commerce Green Blvd. Sugar Land
9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Screening of “La Pazza Gioia” (Like Crazy)
Historic Sugar Land Auditorium
226 Lakeview Drive, Sugar Land
3 p.m.

Aperitivo Reception
Lonnie Green Park
130 First St., Sugar Land
6 p.m.

Screening of “Il vangelo secondo mattei” (The Gospel According to Mattei)
Historic Sugar Land Auditorium
226 Lakeview Drive, Sugar Land
7 p.m.

Free Public Screening of “Ho Amici in Paradiso” (I Have Friends in Heaven)
Sugar Land Town Square
2711 Plaza Drive Sugar Land
7 p.m.

Sunday

Screening of “Veloce come il vento” (Italian Race)
Historic Sugar Land Auditorium
226 Lakeview Drive, Sugar Land
2 p.m.
By Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.


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