By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

The Italian Film Festival USA of Milwaukee returns to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Union Theatre for its fifth installment Friday, April 29-May 1, bringing the Milwaukee premieres of eight Italian feature films. That's a new record for the ever-growing free event.

The festival is co-coordinated by's Bobby Tanzilo, who says is he pleased with the success of the annual event.

"When we started out at Marquette six years ago, I didn't know what to expect, but the film festival, organized by St. Louis' Barbara Klein, with Paul Salsini and myself on the ground here in Milwaukee, was an immediate success," says Tanzilo.

"And each year, attendance keeps growing. It really says a lot about Milwaukeeans' appetite for great international films."

"Happy Family"
Friday, April 29, 7 p.m.
Director: Gabriele Salvatores, comedy, 2010, 94 minutes

An unemployed scriptwriter finds himself clashing with his characters who appear on his computer. A simple bicycle accident catapults the scriptwriter into his own story, adding a new twist! The latest feature film by the director of the Academy Award-winning film "Mediterraneo."

"The Cezanne Affair" ("L'uomo nero")
Friday, April 29, 8:50 p.m.
Director: Sergio Rubini, drama, 2009, 124 minutes

When Gabriele returns home to say goodbye to his father, a local railway station chief with artistic aspirations, he discovers the truth about his father's artwork and radically changes his opinion of his father.

"Basilicata Coast to Coast"
Saturday, April 30, 5 p.m.
Director: Rocco Papaleo, comedy, 2009, 105 minutes

A band of musicians -- including Italian rocker Max Gazze -- sets off on foot on a road trip to participate in a musical festival, crossing the region of Basilicata from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ionian Sea. A journalist from a small newspaper is assigned to document their journey and joins the group. How will the trip change each member?

"Red Like the Sky" ("Rosso come il cielo")
Saturday, April 30, 7 p.m.
Director: Cristiano Bortone, drama, 2005, 95 minutes

The inspiring true story of renowned Italian sound editor Mirco Mencacci, who, as a young boy, lost his eyesight in an accident. Sent to an institute, he creates fairy tales using only sound, and encourages the other blind children to discover their own talents.

"18 Years Later" ("18 anni dopo")
Saturday, April 30, 9 p.m.
Director: Edoardo Leo, drama, 2010, 100 minutes

The death of their father forces two brothers to reunite after 18 years. In his will, their father asks them to drive his old Morgan to Calabria to distribute his ashes at their mother's grave. The two reluctantly take the trip and encounter unexpected adventure.

"The Thin Match Man" ("L'uomo fiammifero")
Sunday, May 1, 3 p.m.
Director, Marco Chiarini, fantasy, 2009, 78 minutes

Simone, an 11-year-old boy, and his friend Lorenza escape to a fantasy world in search of the Thin Match Man, the king of that enchanted kingdom. Enjoyed by children ... and adults!

"Hayfever" ("Febbre da fieno")
Sunday, May 1, 5 p.m.
Director: Laura Luchetti, sentimental comedy, 2010, 100 minutes

A romantic comedy where love and fate are intertwined until the final plot twist when everyone grows and learns something of life.

"The 1,000 Euro Generation" ("Generazione 1000 Euro")
Sunday, May 1, 7 p.m.
Director: Massimo Venier, comedy, 2008, 101 minutes

Matteo loses his girlfriend, faces eviction and risks losing his job! The arrival of a new roommate, Beatrice, forces him to face his future and make choices in the hectic business world of Milan.

For complete festival information, visit

All films will be shown in Italian with English subtitles. Admission is free and open to the general public, thanks to support from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Italian Program and the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago.