The Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis/St. Paul (IFF) is a four-day event held in Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A. that screens the best contemporary Italian cinema. The festival presents blockbuster comedies, searing dramas, and thought-provoking films made by Italian filmmakers. Our goal is to showcase touching films that explore the vast complexities of Italy and its people, both past and present. For this reason, the IFF also features a classic filmmaker each year--i.e., Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica, or Sergio Leone--to celebrate the history of Italian filmmaking. Alongside film screenings, the IFF engages the local community through dialogues with filmmakers, panel discussions with local scholars and industry professionals, and introductions by journalists and critics.

All films are screened at The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul's Screen Three at the St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis (115 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414). All movies are shown in Italian with English subtitles.

In 2018, the Italian Film Festival (IFF) celebrates its tenth year! To commemorate a decade of Italian cinema in the Twin Cities, the IFF will offer two award opportunities for the best short films made by emerging filmmakers working and living in Italy and Minnesota. The Italian Film Festival’s "Building Bridges: Emerging Filmmaker Awards” will be chosen by an esteemed panel of jurors and the winning films will screen at the 2018 IFF.

The jury will select two films--one made in Italy and one made in Minnesota--and each film will receive a 2018 "Building Bridges Award." Each winner will receive a cash prize and the IFF will cover the director's travel to the festival. Distributors and filmmakers are asked to make or submit short films that are related to a specific theme described in the "Rules and Terms" section.

Films submitted should consider the theme: Places of Memory and Change.

To be considered for this year’s Italian Film Festival's “Building Bridges: Emerging Filmmaker Awards” short films should address the relationship between place, memory, history and change. Short films should, in part, draw on personal and collective memory, focus on significant events in the past or present, consider important or forgotten histories, and/or highlight the ways that places have changed over time. Films might consider changing waterways and colors, landscapes, demographics, geography, or traditions; they might also tell the personal story of one or more subjects or focus on the memories alive in a particular place or community. Our hope is to draw connections between the diverse communities and landscapes that make up the state of Minnesota with the people and places that define Italy’s cities and towns. Films might focus on urban or natural geography, on unique or important architecture of the place, on plant or animal life, or on aspects that are unique to the Italy or Minnesota. We are open to creative approaches to this theme and welcome your interpretations and experiments.

Submission process:
*Please submit your film through our FilmFreeway page

*Please include a link to the film (if available), the film's title, a brief description, the director's name and bio, country of origin, contact information, and press materials. Other information is welcome, but not required.

*The cost of submission is $10 for regular submission and $25 for late submission (see deadlines).

*If for any reason you need to send a physical screener link, please mail the film to the following address:

Italian Film Festival Submission
c/o Italian Cultural Center
528 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Film criteria:
The IFF hopes to encourage filmmaking in Italy and in Minnesota that draw links between our local communities and those living in Italy today. For this reason, films will only be considered that meet the following requirements:

*The filmmakers must be from or living in Minnesota or Italy and able to attend the festival in February (exact dates TBD) for a post-screening discussion

*Films must be less than 15 minutes

*Films must creatively take up the theme for this year’s awards

Overall Rating
  • Arianna Lodeserto

    Awarded of the Special jury prize, I was invited to Minneapolis for the Italian Film Festival this year and I had a wonderful time in the stunning city of Minneapolis! I had a warm feeling of excellence in hospitality, since they the staff took care of every details to welcome the invited directors in Twin Cities.
    Besides that, the festival had a very good program this year, and we had the chance to watch some significant film of the recent Italian production, and to meet emerging directors and Italian-American incredible personalities (also thanks to the Q & A).
    The Festival location (St. Anthony Main) was extremely suggestive, and the screenings were very well arranged.
    I just wish to everybody the chance to see Minnesota at least once in a life!

    March 2018