ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – France can keep the Cannes Film Festival, New Mexico has the Italian Film Festival. Since 2007, the festival has been attracting audiences in Albuquerque and exposing them to the best of everything Italian.
“It’s all about Italian tradition, food, music, art and the big focus on Italian cinema,” says Maria Arancio Berry with the Italian Film Festival. “The people have already taken the time to recognize Italian cinema, it’s one of the great gifts that Italy has given to the world.”
It’s not only viewing great films and indulging in Italian culture, but at the heart of the festival is raising money for the UNM Children’s Hospital.
“In 8 seasons, actually 7, we’ve raised roughly $200,000 for the hospital,” adds Arancio Berry. “This year we will definitely go over that $200,000 mark and we’re very excited about that.”
The festival continues to grow with each year and also holds a three day celebration in Santa Fe.
“We did three days last week in Santa Fe that were very, very well attended and very popular and successful,” says Arancio Berry.
There’s a lot of fun and new experiences to be packed into that amount of time for both locations. Organizers say that’s a big part of what keeps audiences coming back year after year.
“Because you can have a wonderful time and you can know while you’re doing that, that your dollars are going to a very worthy cause …” says Arancio Berry.
For show times and more information, you can check out the Italian Film Festival website.