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Culture / Entertainment

Sugar Land Film Festival Celebrates the Underrated Joy of Italian Movies

How Three Strong Women Made the Magic Happen

BY // 10.24.18

It’s time for a little lights, camera, action in Sugar Land. The second annual Umbria in Sugar Land Italian Film Festival kicks off its three-day cinematographic extravaganza this Friday, October 26.

Film buffs and those eager for something a little different can take in public screenings of Umbria’s five selected films. This year’s finest in foreign film includes Friends By Chance, The Awful Wars, Children of the Night, Let Yourself Go and Pure Hearts.

It’s set to be an immersive experience at the historic Sugar Land auditorium. All films will be shown in Italian with English subtitles. There’s a range of genres in these new films, from comedy to drama.

“There are films for everybody, for every taste,” Umbria founder and film-lover Tiziana Triolo tells PaperCity.

The Palermo, Italy native turned Sugar Land denizen connected with friends from Umbria two years ago about the prospect of a new cultural event in Sugar Land.

“It was three strong Italian women that had the crazy idea to bring this festival to Texas,” Triolo laughs. “I fell in love with this city that really adopted me.”

The festival, jointly hosted by the City of Sugar Land, the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation and the region of Umbria and city of Spello, is featuring films from Italy’s own international film festival, Festival del Cinema Città di Spello ed i Borghi Umbri, or IFFS.

Triolo delights in the Sugar Land-Spello synthesis.

“It’s a great partnership. If I had to define the festival, it’s really ‘one heart, two flags.’ It’s a great Italian-American partnership between two cities that have so much in common,” she says.

Sugar Land is a very diverse city. I think what we were missing was the Italian community was not really a part of this. I think this is a great addition.”

There’s an educational component to the festival, as well. You can expect three seminars from a filmmaker and a film professor that shed light into film production and the birth and influence of Italian cinema.

“It’s really a very unique international festival. Students can come to practice their Italian skills,” Triolo notes.

Tickets for students are discounted at just $8. General admission is $10, VIP is $20 and the VIP Festival Package, which gives access to all screenings and aperitivos is $100. Aperitivo, or Italian happy hour, comes before the movie screenings on Friday and Saturday.

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