JIFF (Joburg Italian Film Fest) opens in Jozi this weekend

JIFF (Joburg Italian Film Fest) opens in Jozi this weekend

If you love foreign movies, great acting and of course those piercing eyes of Italian heart throb Raoul Bova (think Under The Tuscan Sun here, and you will know who we are talking about HJ) then you will be excited to know that the Johannesburg Italian Film Festival 2017 is opening this Friday, 10th November at Rosebank Mall.

JIFF  as it is affectionately known (and to be honest that name is really long too so it makes perfect sense) is set to wow South African audiences this weekend – and features two movies by Raoul Bova as well.

The tradition and aim of the weekend is to promote Italian culture of all fields to the broader South African public, and Italy has a very strong and proud tradition in the history of cinema and the country’s new generation of film makers are no exception.

The festival aims to further expose this cinematic culture and talent to an ever-growing South African audience.

Raoul was born in Rome, and at the tender age of 16 became a local champion in the 100 meter backstroke. He fell in to acting quite by chance and has a long list of movie titles under his belt – including Under The Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane, filmed in 2003 and most recently All Roads Lead to Rome – which mainstream audiences will have seen him in.

Raoul arrived in Johannesburg yesterday to promote the festival, and we were lucky enough to chat to him about how he wound up in acting, roles he has played, and other burning questions…

You used to be a really good swimmer, how did you wind up in acting?

I lost a European championship, and I lost the title – I was so upset and I had put so much energy and time in to it (training 6 hours a day) so I wanted to find something else to do. My sister said to me to go for a casting for a commercial so that I could at least earn some money to put petrol in my motorbike and take my girlfriend out to dinner, and so I went.

I met a director who was looking for someone to play the part of one of two brothers in a series, and in that moment my sadness and passion of losing the championship just came out and it was a perfect fit for the role, and so I got it.

I love acting, and I went to LA and New York to learn more acting and take classes, but the funny things is that it changes your acting style.

To act as your first movie after you have learnt all the things that you have studied – you act better when you haven’t trained. When you study you try to remember all the things, and it changes your acting style. It is like life – you go too far sometimes, and you must always come back to the start to get that clarity.

What is the most challenging role you have ever played, and why?

St Francis of Assisi – it was at a point in my life when I had lost my faith, and this role arrived at just the right time, and I found myself again through this role, my personal journey during this film was amazing.

Who has been is your favourite co-star, thus far?

Certainly Diane Lane and Sarah Jessica Parker – they are so much fun and great acting partners. I was always the gentleman,  polite and I guess maybe I was a bit timid – they were so outgoing and we had so much fun.

What is the most difficult things about your job, for you?

To be aware of things that other people do not notice. You always see what is going on, say if you are at a party, you watch how people sit, eat, walk, move their hands etc. There is a story inside of every person, and sometimes you look at them and wonder what happened to them until that point, what made them the way they are. Your body and your eyes always tell a story.

If we had to choose only one film to see at JIFF this weekend, which would it be?

Well two of my films are on this weekend Facing Windows is a drama and the other a comedy – but, if only one…it must be Facing Windows.

The weekends festivities will be hosted by the Consulate General of Italy in Johannesburg and will be held at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank from November 10 – 12.

The Festival is free and open to the public on a first come first serve basis.

Dates and films to be screened at Cinema Nouveau this weekend are:

Fri 10th Nov , 2:30 pm La finestra di fronte / Facing Windows

Fri 10th Nov , 5:30 pm Io l’Altro / Me The Other

Sat 11th Nov , 2:30 pm Sbirri / Cops

Sat 11th Nov , 5 :30 pm I Siciliani / The Sicilians

Sun 12th Nov , 2:30 pm Sei mai stata sulla luna / Have You Ever Been to the Moon

Sun 12th Nov , 5:30 pm Scusate se esisto / Do you see me

Find out more on the Italian Consulate website here…


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Social media and events manager by day, intrepid blogger and lover of all things fun to do in Jozi by night, Heather is a self confessed social media addict, avid food reviewer, enthusiastic traveler and radio host on @niche_radio

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