The mission of the Italian Film Festival is twofold: to raise awareness and educate the public about Italy –its land, people, culture, and language, and also to provide an opportunity to view Italian films that might not otherwise be available locally. Italian Film Festival USA is the largest festival dedicated exclusively to Italian film in the USA. It visits 14 cities from coast to coast.
The annual event brings together multiple organizations and volunteers, beginning with Italian Film Festival USA (link: https://italianfilmfests.org/detroit.html), a nonprofit organization based in St. Louis. At MSU, Italian professor Carmen De Lorenzo, coordinator of the Italian program in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies at MSU, and a member of the Film Festival Committee, brings the event to East Lansing. Organization and publicity are also made possible by the student volunteers of the MSU Italian Club and Lorenzo’s Italian program colleagues, professors Valentina Denzel and Jessica Toby. The festival is also co-sponsored by the Department of Romance and Classical Studies, The Michigan Arts and Culture Council, The Istituto di Cultura Chicago, The Dante Alighieri Society Michigan Chapter, and The Italian Consulate in Detroit.
The festival brings students, faculty and local community members to Wells Hall every year during the month of April. The Festival complements the Latinx Film Festival and the MSU Albertine Cinémathèque French Film Festival, also offered by the Department of Romance and Classical Studies.