Stellar lineup at the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival 2021

Robert De Niro’s The Comeback Trail, Toni Collette’s Dream Horse, the Canadian Peace by Chocolate, Disney and Pixar’s Luca, highlights of a program full of Premieres.

From June 27 to July 17 at Ontario Place, the most anticipated in-person event of the summer. An international selection representing the uniqueness of multiethnic Canada with a special focus on Italy.

TORONTO (Ontario) – June 3, 2021 – The ICFF and CHIN Radio/TV are thrilled to announce the much-anticipated second edition of the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival, taking place at Ontario Place from June 27th to July 17th, 2021. This extraordinary event, presented in collaboration with Rogers Communications and Christie Digital, will feature a program showcasing some of the most acclaimed films from across the globe from 16 different countries. Following last year’s objective, the mission of the Festival remains to reconnect communities within the unique multicultural mosaic of Canadian society.

During this three-week program, the ICFF will also celebrate its milestone anniversary with the 10th celebratory edition of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival thanks to the support of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and media partners OMNI Television and RAI Italia.

A Special Screening will take place on Saturday, June 19th with Disney and Pixar’s upcoming original feature film Luca’, directed by Academy Award® nominee Enrico Casarosa (‘La Luna’). The special event will feature an exquisite “Luca” themed dinner prepared by Eataly and will include a special greeting from Enrico Casarosa and from Character Art Director Deanna Marsigliese. For the occasion, the ICFF will donate a portion of ticket sales to Canada Food Bank, the charitable organization dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity.

The Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival will officially open its gates on Sunday, June 27th in celebration of Canadian Multiculturalism Day. “Toronto stands as a beacon of cultural diversity in Canada and the world,” said Lenny Lombardi, President of CHIN RADIO/Tv the leading multicultural radio broadcaster in Canada. “It is important to us that this unique festival launch on the day that celebrates our character as a Nation”. 

The Festival will launch its 2nd edition with the Canadian Premiere of The Comeback Trail. The film recounts the story of two movie producers, indebted to the mob, who try to save themselves by setting up an aging actor for an insurance scam. The official film selection of the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival will include an incredible variety of the films, mostly North American and Canadian Premieres, such as the screening of Peace by Chocolate; Robert De Niro’s latest film, The Comeback Trail; and the uplifting British film, Dream Horse starring Toni Colette.

“We will remember this year as a dramatic one because of the serious losses and struggles that hit us as a result of the pandemic,” said Cristiano de Florentiis, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the ICFF. “The lockdown of our cities and society has also caused the loss of the sense of community that united us. For this reason, we made it our mission to reconnect people, reduce distances, and create an event where audiences can share emotions together again.”  

“Lavazza is proud to support the entertainment and cultural industry in a period where many festivals and organizations are forced to close or cancel their programs with no certainty of coming back any time soon,” said Head of Lavazza Canada, Andrea Chiaramello. “With this great film festival we aim to give people something to look forward to, with the hopes having back the sense of normality that we all so dearly miss.”

Safety remains a top priority for the Festival. To grant an entertaining and safe experience for all audiences, on top of last year’s health and safety measures, this year the festival is proud to announce its partnership with Juiceworks Exhibits and Predictmedix Inc. that will provide innovative COVID-19 Screening Safe Entry Stations.

Lavazza Drive-In Film Program

Peace by Chocolate | Jonathan Keijser | Canada

On July 1st, the Festival will celebrate Canada Day with the North American Premiere of Peace by Chocolate by Jonathan Keijser. The film is based on the real-life story of a Syrian family who fled the country to find refuge in Nova Scotia, where they successfully founded a chocolate company. This heartwarming story about hope and new beginnings will be included in a night dedicated to the celebration of Canada’s mosaic of communities and cultures. Providing that the restrictions will allow it, the special event will include the exceptional participation of the real family behind this incredible story of hope, new beginning, and chocolate.

Bye Bye Morons | Albert Dupontel | France

As part of the official celebrations for Bastille Day, the French National Day, the Festival will present the North American Premiere of the exhilarating and engaging film Bye Bye Morons by Albert Dupontel. The film revolves around Suze Trappet, a 43-year-old hairdresser, who finds out she’s seriously ill and decides to go looking for the child she was forced to abandon when she was only 15. On her journey, she crosses paths with a 50-year-old man in the middle of a burnout and a blind archivist prone to overenthusiasm who are going to be her companions throughout her adventures to find her long-lost child.

Petit Pays | Éric Barbier | Rwanda

The screening of Petit Pays by Éric Barbier will represent Rwanda at the Festival with a touching and multi-layered story set during the conflict in Rwanda between ethnicities Hutu and Tutsi. The film represents the cinema adaptation of the homonymous book by Gaël Faye.

Dream Horse | Euros Lyn | United Kindom

Coming back after last year’s incredible success, this year the Festival will present the Canadian Premiere of Dream Horse directed by Euros Lyn and starring Academy Award® nominee Toni Collette, to represent the UK at the initiative. The movie tells the wonderful true story of Dream Alliance, an unlikely racehorse bred by a small-town bartender. The film is presented with the support of the British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

My Boyfriend’s Meds | Diego Kaplan | Mexico

In collaboration with Emery Village BIA, the Festival is proud to present the Canadian Premiere of the Mexican film, My Boyfriend’s Meds by Diego Kaplan. The film follows the story of Hank, a seductive mattress store owner, who takes a vast assortment of prescription drugs for his mental health issues. When his new girlfriend invites him on a business retreat, he’s horrified to learn that he’s forgot to bring his medication upon arrival.

Your Eyes Tell | Takahiro Miki | Japan To represent Japan, the Festival will showcase the North American Premiere of the film, Your Eyes Tell by Takahiro Miki. This emotional and heartwarming film, scored by the worldwide beloved K-pop group, BTS, tells the story of two star-crossed lovers, Akari and Rui, and the complex bond that ties them together. The event is co-presented with the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto, the Toronto Japanese Film Festival, and The Japan Foundation.

On the Edge | Eduard Bordukov | Russia

The Festival’s International selection will present the North American Premiere of the Russian film, On the Edge directed by Eduard Bordukov, a captivating story about sportsmanship, rivalry, and the arduous path to find oneself. The event is co-presented and supported by the Consulate General of Russia in Toronto and the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

Septet: The Story of Hong Kong | China

The Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival is happy to present the outstanding North American Premiere of Septet: The Story of Hong Kong, the seven-part anthology directed by Ann Hui, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Ringo Lam, Patrick Tam, Johnnie To, Hark Tsui, and Woo-Ping Yuen. The film recounts the incredible story of Hong Kong in different chapters from 1950 to the present day.

Angrezi Medium | Homi Adajania | India

The Festival, with the support of the Consulate General of India in Toronto, is thrilled to announce the North American Premiere of Angrezi Medium by Homi Adajania. The film is a comedy drama that tells the story of an unassuming mithai shop owner and single father who embarks on a journey to fulfil his daughter’s dream to study in London.

The Goldfish | Alireza Golafshan | Germany

Co-presented with the Consulate General of Germany in Toronto and the Goethe Institute, the Festival is proud to announce the Canadian Premiere of the film, The Goldfish by Alireza Golafshan. The film is a hilarious and insightful comedy about the obstacles of life and the importance of always keeping a positive attitude, despite the circumstances.

Okay! Madam | Cheol-ha Lee | South Korea

Representing South Korea, the Festival is co-presenting with the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Toronto the hilarious spy-film, Okay! Madam directed by Cheol-ha Lee. The film follows a happy family on their long-awaited getaway trip to Hawaii, when a sudden hijack of the plane puts their life and, most importantly, their vacation at stake.

Locked on You | Kıvanç Baruönü | Turkey

Co-presented with the Toronto Turkish Consulate General, the Festival will present Locked on You directed by Kıvanç Baruönü. The film revolves around the story of Zekeriya, a traditional çiğ köfte seller that is forced to flee Istanbul because of a “wrong place, wrong time” situation. While striving to start anew on a beautiful island, Zekeriya meets a hilarious group of characters with whom they will share incredible adventures.

The Windemere Children | Michael Samuels | Israel

The Festival will present the screening of The Windermere Children, the 2020 biographical drama directed by Michael Samuels. The film recounts the true story of children who survived the Holocaust and how they adapted to their new home in England, while also making life-long bonds with fellow survivors.

El Incoveniente | Bernabé Rico | Spain

The Festival is excited to announce the Spanish film, El Incoveniente by Bernabé Rico to represent Spain at the Festival. This entertaining and engaging film tells the story of a new homeowner who agrees to live with a 72-year-old woman after getting a great deal on a house.

ICFF 10th Anniversary This year marks the 10th anniversary of the ICFF, with the support of Embassy of Italy in Ottawa, and the Istituto Italiano di Culturain Toronto. The ICFF 2021 will take place at Ontario Place, Vaughan, and Montreal, and online across Canada on the ICFF official digital platform in collaboration with the Toronto International Film Festival, from July 5th to July 13th.

For this thrilling new edition, the Festival is proud to bring to the city of Toronto new exciting open-air theatres at Ontario Place to accommodate more audiences and offer incredible special events and screenings in a safe manner. With the always breathtaking Toronto skyline as backdrop, the outdoor cinemas will serve as a glamourous, entertaining, and safe escape during the hot Canadian summer.

ICFF in Vaughan will present a thoughtfully curated selection of Italian films at the renowned McMichael Art Gallery for an exclusive experience under the stars. A special ICFF selection will also take place in Montreal, in the Petite Italie borough, for Quebecois audiences.

ICFF 2021 Program

The Best Years | Gabriele Muccino | Italy

The ICFF is thrilled to present the North American Premiere of the latest film by Gabriele Muccino, The Best Years. The film, telling the story of four long-time friends who lose touch with one another and reconnect once again after years, will be presented on the Closing Night of the Festival on July 17th.

Out of My League | Alice Filippi | Italy

During this thrilling 3-week program the Festival is happy to announce the International Premiere of Out of My League, the heartwarming and emotionally resonant film directed by Alice Filippi. The film brings to screen the story of Marta, a strong and ambitious 19-year-old girl, who lost her parents during childhood and is now suffering from an incurable and lethal disease.

Made in Italy | James D’Arcy | Italy and United Kingdom

The Festival will present the riveting Italian-British co-production, Made in Italy directed by James D’Arcy. The film follows a London artist and his estranged son in their journey to mend their relationship as they work together to repair a dilapidated house in Italy.

Lei mi parla ancora | Pupi Avati | Italy

The North American Premiere of Lei mi parla ancora by Pupi Avati will be part of the official celebratory edition of the Festival. The film follows Nino, a widower pharmacist who recounts the 65-year-long romance with his wife to an aspiring novelist.

Lasciami andare | Stefano Mordini | Italy

The Festival is thrilled to present the North American Premiere of the film, Lasciami andare by Stefano Mordini. The drama recounts the poignant story of Marco, a soon-to-be father who, after the loss of his first born with his former partner, is ready to start anew. However, a woman bursts into his life and begins to unravel a series of mysteries and ties to the past that put his future into question.

Governance | Michael Zampino | Italy

The ICFF is thrilled to present the film, Governance by Michael Zampino with its North American Premiere. The film follows the story of Renzo Petrucci, oil conglomerate manager, who is forced to leave his job after corruption charges. Convinced that the woman who has taken his place has betrayed him, Renzo takes his revenge by killing her.

EST | Antonio Pisu | Italy

EST by Antonio Pisu will screen its Canadian Premiere at the 10th edition of ICFF. Set on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the film follows the story of three Italian men who decide to leave their hometown to seek adventures elsewhere. While travelling through Eastern Europe, they come across a man who fled Romania and, unexpectedly, leaves them with a mysterious suitcase that will change the course of their journey.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary of successes and exceptional screenings, the Festival is bringing back past editions’ People’s Choice Award winners with drive-in screenings, open-air events, and on its nation-wide online platform. For this occasion, the Festival is proud to present once again the iconic, Kriptonite!; Noi e la Giulia; In Guerra per Amore; Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle; and Aspromonte: La terra degli ultimi.

The festival is proud to screen, The Chain directed by Vittorio Rossi at the Festival. The Chain is a filmed play where cinema meets theatre, and the theatre embraces the language of cinema. The original Quebec production follows the story of Tullio Testa, a working-class landscape contractor, who, after turning the business over to his younger son Massimo, is faced with the consequences of his actions that change the family dynamics forever.

The 2021 edition of the ICFF is proud to present once again its incredibly special event dedicated to Italian architecture and design and its worldwide influence in modern construction, ICFF Archittetura & Design, presented by Great Gulf. For this edition, the Festival is excited to announce two special screenings dedicated to these topics, accompanied by incredible panel discussions and presentations form renowned architects and designers in the field.

The Canadian Premiere of Sin directed by Andrey Konchalovsky will represent one of the exclusive Architettura & Design events, with its incredible story about the world’s most famous sculptor, Michelangelo, and his struggles in completing the Sistine Chapel. The second event dedicated to architecture will revolve around the very well-fitting theme of water, taking place at the waterfront venue of Ontario Place and featuring the screening of the documentary Homus Urbanus Venetianus by Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine. After the trying constraints of lockdown and social distancing that brutally reduced urban space to its strict minimum, making it into a place where isolated individuals merely cohabit, Homo Urbanus is a cinematic odyssey offering a vibrant tribute to what we have been most cruelly deprived of: namely, public space.

ICFF Champions, the event that highlights Italy’s imprint in the world of sport, returns for 2021 with the powerful and complex drama, Il Caso Pantani by Domenico Ciolfi. The film explores the glorious rise and devastating fall of Italian cycling champion and fan-favourite cycling hero, Marco Pantani.

The ICFF Moda special event is dedicated to celebrating Italian fashion and influence this year it will showcase Italian brands and new collections with a special focus on the iconic make-up industry. The special event, co-present with Cosmetica Italia and the Italian Trade Commission, will include the screening of short films about Italian fashion and Italian make-up brands, followed by dynamic panel discussions about new trends and a thorough and engaging analysis of how Italian brands are shaping the worldwide cosmetic industry. The panels will feature renowned influencers, fashion designers, and make-up artists, who will provide their insights on the industry and discuss the new and flourishing collaborations between the cosmetic world and the film industry.

ICFF Letteratura honours the great contribution of Italian poets and novelists to worldwide literature and this year celebrates the writer and larger-than-life character of Gabriele D’Annunzio, with the screening of the film, Il cattivo poeta. The event will center around the renowned poet, symbol of the Italian Decadent movement, and how his astounding work has, not only made, an impact in global literature but has left an undeniable imprint in cinema. Moreover, in celebration of the 700-year anniversary of the death of the medieval poet and philosopher, Dante Alighieri, the festival will host the special screening of Inferno (1911) with an extraordinary live musical accompaniment.

Following the Canadian Prime Minister’s apology to Italian Canadians interned during the Second World War, the ICFF, in partnership with the CIBPA, is proud to present the screening of Piazza Petewawa by Rino Noto. The insightful documentary will encompass the story of this tragic event from the beginning to the final and long-awaited apology in 2021. The film will be accompanied by the screening of Bond of Strangers, which will represent a special event with thrilling panel discussions and presentations.

ICFF Short Film Selection

The Festival is proud to present on its digital platform the Short Film Collection that will be available across Canada for the duration of the Festival. The special selection includes talented new filmmakers and award nominees from the 2021 David of Donatello Awards.   This year, HappyOrNot, the global leader in instant customer and employee satisfaction, brought to you in Canada by Jules Communications, will once again be the official voting platform for the ICFF and Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival. The Finnish company has partnered with ICFF for the past three years, and their user-friendly platform has enhanced the Festival, providing one of the most important awards – the People’s Choice Award. 

After months of isolation, the event will transform the most classic movie-going experience into a contemporary film festival, providing Canadians the perfect opportunity to engage with the community once again, in a safe and physically-distanced manner. To eliminate concerns over large crowds at concession stands during the event, the Festival has partnered once again with sponsor Pizza Nova to offer contactless delivery of snacks directly to vehicles.

For the drive-in screenings at the Festival, the audio of the presentations and the films will be broadcast live on Radio CHIN – AM1540. Each evening of the Festival, a feature film will be preceded by live and live-streamed interviews and Question & Answer sessions with actors and directors. Visit www.icff.ca or call 416-893-3966 for ticket information.

About ICFF

The Italian Contemporary Film Festival, presented by IC Savings, is one of the most highly anticipated cultural events of the summer in Toronto and across Canada, with a loyal base of nearly 50,000 attendees per year. Established in 2012, it is one of the leading and most successful festivals of its kind, and the largest Italian film festival outside of Italy. Each year, ICFF screens dozens of films, including shorts and documentaries, in eight cities across the country, in Italian with English or French subtitles. But the ICFF is much more than simply a film festival… It is a unique exploration of Italian arts and culture. With special events highlighting the best of Italian food, wine, fashion, music, literature, architecture, and industry developments, ICFF is committed to celebrating Italian heritage, and bringing together artists and entrepreneurs from around the globe and connecting them with Canada’s diverse audience.

About the 2021 Festival Sponsors and Partners

As Presenting Sponsor of the ICFF, Lavazza is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking, bringing business and energy to Canada and offering festival patrons the opportunity to enjoy the best in storytelling through film. The Festival is promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Institutional partners are: the Italian Embassy in Ottawa, the Italian Consulate General in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, the Italian Institute of Culture in Toronto and Montreal, the Italian Trade Agency, and ANICA.

Leading partners are: the Italian Embassy in Ottawa, the Italian Consulate General in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, the Italian Institute of Culture in Toronto and Montreal, the Italian Trade Agency, and ANICA.

Major Partners are: TIFF, Musée des Beaux-Arts Montreal, SIRT, Cineplex Cinemas, Take 5 Production, George Brown, and Cinémathèque QC. Leading Sponsors are: Cityzen Dominus, NyDock – Floating Docks from Huntsville Muskoka Ontario, Castlepoint Numa, Empire Communities, Rio Mare, Great Gulf, Liuna, and our Official Communication partner, Rogers Communications.  ICFF Media Partners are: RAI Italia, CHIN Radio/TV and OMNI Television.  ICFF is funded by: the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, and Ontario Creates.  Premiere Sponsors are: Christie Digital, Campari, Eataly, Pizza Nova, Luxe Rentals, Cecconi Simone.

About CHIN Radio/TV

CHIN Radio is the first multicultural/multilingual radio station to be established in Ontario. CHIN AM started broadcasting in 1966, followed a year later by CHIN FM. The organization is the pioneer in multicultural radio broadcasting and has led the way for similar broadcast operations to be established in other communities. CHIN is not only “unique in Toronto,” but also “unique in Ottawa/Gatineau.” CHIN reaches out in over 50 languages to more than 100 cultural communities in the GTA and areas in southern Ontario. The contribution of CHIN to the cause of multiculturalism, understanding and tolerance between people of many national, racial, and religious origins has been recognized and acknowledged throughout Canada.

About Lavazza

Lavazza, founded in Turin in 1895, has been owned by the Lavazza family for four generations. As one of the world’s most important coffee roasters, the Group now operates in more than 140 countries through its subsidiaries and distributors, with 70% of turnover generated abroad  Lavazza employs a total of over 4,000 people and in  2020 generated sales of over € 2billion. Companies that form part of the Lavazza Group include France’s Carte Noire and ESP (acquired in 2016 and 2017 respectively), Denmark’s Merrild (2015), North America’s Kicking Horse Coffee (2017), Italy’s Nims (2017), and the business of Australia’s Blue Pod Coffee Co (2018). At the end of 2018, following an acquisition, the Lavazza Professional Business Unit was created, which includes the Office Coffee Service (OCS) and Vending systems Flavia and Klix.

About Rogers

Rogers is a proud Canadian company dedicated to making more possible for Canadians each and every day. Our founder, Ted Rogers, purchased his first radio station, CHFI, in 1960. We have grown to become a leading technology, sports, and media company that strives to provide the very best in wireless, residential, sports, and media to Canadians and Canadian businesses. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). If you want to find out more about us, visit about.rogers.com.

About Ontario Place Ontario Place is an agency of the Government of Ontario that features 155 acres of waterfront property in Toronto. Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario it features Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail, and the Cinesphere, the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre. Ontario Place is a gathering space for everyone in the province and offers visitors a variety of cultural, artistic, and recreational activities.

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