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Antonio Vitti
Department of French and Italian

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011

Italian cinema symposium April 13-16 at IU Bloomington features acclaimed director Mimmo Calopresti

April 7, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Mimmo Calopresti, one of Italy's most respected film directors, will be among the participants in a four-day symposium on his native country's contemporary cinema April 13-16 at Indiana University Bloomington.

Mimmo Calopresti

Photo by Philippe Antonello

Mimmo Calopresti

The event, "New Trends in Modern and Contemporary Italian Cinema," is being organized by IU's Department of French and Italian, in the College of Arts and Sciences, and will feature several films, documentaries, shorts and more than 50 presentations.

Scholars and film fans from across the country and around the world will discuss many aspects of modern and contemporary Italian production.

Calopresti is a film director, screenwriter, producer and actor. He has directed 17 films since 1987.

As part of the conference, Calopresti will show and discuss four of his films, including his latest, "La Maglietta Rossa (The Red T-Shirt)," a documentary which focuses on the historic 1976 Davis Cup tennis final between Italy and Chile. The victory was marked by political controversy, as many both inside and outside Italy felt their nation's success in the tournament resulted from other national teams refusing to play against a team representing a military government ruled by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

He also will present his first feature film, the 1995 drama, "La seconda volta (The Second Time)," which centers on two people -- a professor and a former terrorist who had participated in a plot to kill him 12 years earlier. He knows who she is, but she does not recognize him, so he must decide whether to tell her who he really is. The film was the winner of the Solinas Prize, which is the most prestigious Italian award for subject and screenwriters.

Other Calopresti films being screened are "La fabbrica dei tedeschi (The ThyssenKrupp Factory)" and "Preferisco il rumore del mare (I Prefer the Sound of the Sea)." Screenings will be held at the IU Cinema.

"A characteristic of his cinematic production is the exploration of the solitude and silence that surround people as they withdraw from necessary human relationships," said Antonio Vitti, IU professor of Italian cinema. "This theme, prevalent in his first feature film, continues throughout his elaborate video productions from 1983 into the new millennium and his most recent work, 'La maglietta rossa.'"

This is the second year for the symposium, which Vitti founded to showcase a revitalized film industry in Italy. In the 1960s and 1970s, Italian cinema was identified by auteurs such as Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Leone and Lina Wertmüller, but the industry fell out of worldwide favor during the 1980s.

Other topics being discussed over the four-day conference will include issues such as how political history, organized crime and other societal issues are presented in modern Italian film.

There is no registration fee for IU students or faculty. For symposium participants from outside IU, the registration fee is $40. Those with additional questions may contact Vitti, at 812-855-2508 and More information also is available online at

"A Symposium on Modern and Contemporary Italian Cinema" is sponsored by the IU College of Arts and Sciences, the Mary-Margaret Barr Koon Fund, the IU Office of the Provost, the IU Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, the IU College Arts and Humanities Institute, the Olga Ragusa Fund for the Study of Modern Italian Literature and Culture and the IU Cinema.