Filming Italy Los Angeles Film Festival Celebrates Italy’s Beauty and Its Talented Artists

Filming Italy Los Angeles Film Festival Closing Night Ceremony with Dolph Lundgren, Franco Nero and Festival Director, Tiziana Rocca
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In February, Filming Italy held their 9th annual Los Angeles film festival. The 4-day festival, created and directed by Tiziana Rocca was a chance for Italian films and entertainment professionals to be showcased to their peers and the media. The goal of the festival, and the organization is to create a bridge for projects between the US and Italy. The Filming Italy team helps entertainment professionals in LA (and beyond) find the right locations for filming, go through all the necessary procedures needed to film in a foreign location, and produce a beautiful project, which will showcase the beauty and essence of Italy. Four nights of red-carpet events meant an opportunity to talk with many Italians and Filming Italy supporters about why this event is special to them.

Actress Marissa Tomei and Festival Director Tiziana Rocca
Festival Director Tiziana Rocca and Actor Franco Nero

Academy Award winner, Nick Vallelonga shared his adoration of his Italian heritage and his connection to Filming Italy by attending the festival and supporting his fellow Italians. Vallelonga loves the community that Italians curate, especially the community here in LA that Filming Italy has built for the entertainment industry. Joe Cortese, from the Oscar winning movie Green Book was also in attendance and felt the same sentiment. As an Italian, Cortese said he was grateful to have filmed projects in Italy over the years and cannot wait to do more.

Filming Italy Los Angeles Board Members

Producer Peter Fox has been working with Filming Italy on his upcoming project, from the Hamptons to Harlem. With their help, he has been able to find a beautiful place in Milan to film his movie’s final scene, which will happen in October.  He said the film is a mix between Black Swan and Whiplash, and he is thrilled he will be able to film in such a beautiful place in Italy and share a piece of Italy with those who will watch his movie.  

Miss Italia 2023 Francesca Bergesio
Io Capitano Director Matteo Garrone (second from right) with actors including Seydou Sarr (far right)

Filming Italy International Award winner, Nat Wolff, said it’s incredible to be among a group of people so passionate about cinema, especially among the not-so-mainstream projects, where he believes the best work is done. During one of the presentations, Wolff’s affection for his Italian role models was very evident, when he was in awe of those winning awards, and said it was an honor just to be on stage with them.

Actor and Festival Award Recipient, Nat Wolff

These are just a handful of examples of the work Filming Italy is doing to share the country of Italy and the creativity of its descendants with moviegoers. Italy is personally one of my favorite places on the planet and I am just as in awe of its beauty (and the beautiful Italian people) onscreen as I am in person, and I will welcome seeing more of it, which I imagine will happen with the work Tiziana Rocca and Filming Italy are doing.

Actress Caterina Scorsone
Actress Stefaniya Makarova

The festival didn’t just focus on showcasing the splendor of Italy as a country, but the Italian people in general, in whatever capacity they are involved in the entertainment industry. Giacomo Gianniotti was honored with the Filming Italy Los Angeles International Award. Gianniotti is a beautiful Italian man, but beyond his looks, his name and his heritage, he plays characters of all types, including Dr. Andrew Luca on Grey’s Anatomy and Drew in Acquainted. Giacomo said “I’m not the only Italian living in Los Angeles. There are lots of us here, writers, directors, producers, performers, etc. We are fans of American cinema and we have tried to recreate that in Italy. To have a festival in LA which celebrates our culture is wonderful, and hopefully allows us to make more projects together.” Gianniotti was in attendance with Antonio Manetti, director on their new project together, Diabolik: Chi Sei?. Manetti said Filming Italy is the link between LA and Italy. Both men agreed Italian cinema was a big influence for early American cinema and now they get to bring that back.

Actor Giacomo Gianniotti and Director Antonio Manetti

Franco Nero, crowned the pride of Italian Cinema, who has been in over 200 films, many of which were filmed in Italy, was awarded Filming Italy Los Angeles’ Lifetime Achievement Award at the festival. He said it’s nice to bring their culture to America, since American’s have always loved Italian culture and Italian movies of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Following his award, his newest film, Havana Kyrie was screened. It was a beautiful representation of Italian culture and Cuban culture combined and the scenery combined paired with Nero’s acting drew the audience in immediately.

Actor Franco Nero and Festival Director Tiziana Rocca
Actress Aurora Cossio

Tiziana Rocca, who is also the Artistic Director of the Festival, said, “I am particularly happy with the results of this year’s Filming Italy Los Angeles, which edition after edition reaches increasingly unexpected milestones. And this ninth edition stood out for the more than 80 works in the program – including Italian films, TV series, shorts and docu-films, many of which are still unreleased worldwide – but also for the masterclasses and webinars offered. The classes were followed from Italy and from many American locations, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, thanks to the streaming platform with which it has been possible to have increased participation of the public, including many young students, theater and film schools.”

Filming Italy Los Angeles Honorees and Attendees

Other festival attendees included Marissa Tomei, Ashley Greene, Aurora Cossio, Danny Huston, Dolph Lundgren Ilenia Pastorelli and Caterina Scorsone. The festival was held in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles and the APA (Audiovisual Producers Association), and under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles. The festival was held from Feb. 26th to 29th, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. For more information on the festival and Filming Italy, click here.

Photos provided by Sarah Meyer.


  • Sarah Meyer

    Sarah Meyer is a public relations professional and journalist, with a passion for pop culture, entertainment and fashion.

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About Sarah Meyer 30 Articles
Sarah Meyer is a public relations professional and journalist, with a passion for pop culture, entertainment and fashion.

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