By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 24, 2019 at 9:02 AM

For more than a dozen years now, the volunteer-run Milwaukee Italian Film Festival has brought new films from Italy that in almost every case have not otherwise screened in Brew City. And, in every single case, for free.

This year, in addition to a shorts program, the festival – hosted once again at UW-Milwaukee’s Union Cinema, April 26-28 – screens seven award-winning Italian films, which all make their Milwaukee premieres.

Admission is free to all films, which are in Italian with English subtitles.

"We are excited to present these wonderful films to the Milwaukee community," said Simonetta Milli Konewko, associate professor of French, Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and chair of the committee that selects the films, in a release.

"Again this year the festival features a wide variety of comedies, dramas and an important and outstanding documentary. And the addition of short films gives the festival even more diversity."

The Milwaukee festival is one of 13 related festivals across the country. They are coordinated by Italian Film Festivals USA.

Here is the complete schedule, with descriptions provided by festival organizers:

Friday, April 26, 7 p.m. AS NEEDED • QUANTO BASTA (Director, Francesco Falaschi, Comedy, 2018, 92 minutes). Arturo, a talented chef with a troubled past, is assigned to serve community time as a cooking instructor at a school for teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome. One of the students, Guido, has great talent and passion for cooking. Will the improbable friendship between the two help Arturo change his life around?

Friday, April 26, 9 p.m. RESIN • RESINA (Director, Renzo Carbonera, Drama, 2017, 92 minutes). When young cellist Maria returns to her native Alpine village, Quirino, a member of the local men’s choir, asks her to help the choir return to its former glory.

Saturday, April 27, 3 p.m. THE BRAVE ONES • BALENTES (Director, Lisa Camillo, Documentary, 2018, 84 minutes) A journey to expose the truth about NATO bombing ranges that have devastating consequences on the local human and animal population of the once pristine island of Sardinia.

Saturday, April 27, 5 p.m. LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO SOFIA • TI PRESENTO SOFIA (Director, Guido Chiesa, Comedy, 2018, 87 minutes) Gabriele, the divorced father of 10 year-old Sofia, meets the woman of his dreams. But Mara doesn’t like children. How can he make the two most important women in his life happy?

Saturday, April 27, 7 p.m. THE STOLEN CARAVAGGIO • UNA STORIA SENZA NOME (Director, Roberto Andò, Drama, 2018, 110 minutes, Sponsor: the dental offices of Dr. David Paris) Valeria pens anonymous scripts for a successful screenwriter. One day, she is approached by a mysterious man who gives her an unusual gift: the plot for her next script. But that plot turns out to be a dangerous one: it is about the mysterious 1969 theft of a famous painting by Caravaggio, The Nativity.

Saturday, April 27, 9:15 p.m. MANUEL (Director, Dario Albertini, Drama, 2017, 97 minutes) Manuel, who just turned 18, leaves the family center where he was placed five years ago when his mother was jailed. Happy to be free again, he has just one objective: to help his mother get her sentence commuted to house arrest.

Sunday, April 28, 3 p.m. SHORT FILM PROGRAM • PROGRAMMA DI CORTOMETRAGGI (Comedy, Drama, Animation, 2018, 100 minutes) Seven recent short films are in competition for your vote for best short film.

Sunday, April 28, 5 p.m. THE GIRL IN THE FOG • LA RAGAZZA NELLA NEBBIA (Director, Donato Carrisi, Drama, 2017, 128 minutes, Sponsor: The Italian Community Center) In a small Alpine village, 16-year-old Anna Lou disappears. Vogel, a police detective who is famous for using mass media to create a chaos, arrives. There are no clues, no tracks to follow.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.