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New York, October 11th 2019 – On October 31st 2019, the Academy of Italian Cinema David di Donatello Awards together with the Office of Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York and Queens College, CUNY will bring Italian and American filmmakers to New York City for the launch of the second edition of the Academic Festival ICCUNY (Italian Cinema CUNY).

The Festival was founded in 2017 by Eugenia Paulicelli, Professor of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center, CUNY and Queens College. IC-CUNY is an educational project that seeks to foster a deeper understanding of the art of Italian cinema from its origins to the present day. In 2019, Massimo Mascolo, creative producer and David di Donatello Awards consultant, joins IC-CUNY as associate director.

The opening masterclass is “I Mestieri del Cinema/The Crafts of Cinema: Costume Design,” a one-of-akind event as it is the first time The Academy of Italian Cinema David di Donatello Awards has collaborated with an American academic institution.

On this special occasion, the President and Artistic Director of the Academy of Italian Cinema David di Donatello Awards, Piera Detassis, will join four-time Oscar and David di Donatello winner Milena Canonero; Oscar and Tony winner Ann Roth; Emmy and David di Donatello nominee Carlo Poggioli; and two-time Emmy winner Donna Zakowska – to discuss their work and the relationship between American and Italian cinema.

The masterclass will start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 31st at The Graduate Center, CUNY (365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY.) Professor Paulicelli will give opening remarks.

The event will open with a moment of celebration of the Italian Film Awards’ origins, in collaboration with BVLGARI and will conclude with an illustrated conversation with film producer Roberto Bessi and the screening of a short film by Anna Tilli from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Rome on costume design. The opening night is followed by two subsequent masterclasses on contemporary film and fashion design, opened to the public. A special celebration of the David of Donatello Awards will be hosted by BVLGARI on the same day.

On Wednesday, November 13 and Thursday, November 14, the second masterclass “Contemporary Italian Cinema” will feature screenings of the new Made in Italy Series Cesare Attolini: Made in Naples, presented by Eugenia Paulicelli, Massimo Mascolo, and Claudio Napoli, and Stolen Caravaggio (Una storia senza nome, dir. Roberto Andò, 2018). Each screening will be followed by a discussion.

The final masterclass, “Hybrid Intersections: Fashion, Costume, Cinema and Television” will be held on Thursday, December 5, and will feature screenings and discussions with top filmmakers, costume designers Daniela Ciancio and Costume Concept Artist Christian Cordella, as well as fashion scholars.

The Festival has received the co-sponsorship and support of the following institutions: The Graduate Center, CUNY; Queens College; Accademia del Cinema Italiano Premi David di Donatello; ASC-Associazione Italiana Scenografi Costumisti Arredatori; Archivi della Moda del Novecento; CSC – Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia; DGA Direzione Generale Archivi; and companies: Turri; Incomo; Variety; Annamode 1946; Leda di Marti; Pierantoni Shoes Theatrical Footwear; 565 Broome Street; Bizzi; Lucciola; ZMG Synergies; Controluce; Okozoko.

For more details about the masterclasses and how to participate: Italian Cinema – CUNY (

Press contacts:
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Virginia Cademartori:
Zarifa Maria Garofalo:

The Graduate Center, CUNY is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY – the nation’s largest public urban university. Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, initiatives, and the Advanced Science Research Center, The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. With its extensive public programs, The Graduate Center is one of New York City’s leading venues for culture and conversation.

IC-CUNY / Italian Cinema CUNY is a lab, a festival and an observatory in process that, in the context of European and global cinema and media, brings the cultural heritage of Italian cinema to a wider public. The mission of ICCUNY is to highlight the mestieri del cinema / the crafts of Italian cinema and its collaboration and exchange on the global stage. In showcasing the work of film directors past and present, IC-CUNY encourages the sharing of insights and analysis of cinema and screen media. A permanent observatory/laboratory, the festival tells the multiple stories of the richness of the Italian cultural heritage and of the many archives and work of professionals who with their know-how and creativity have built Italy’s multifaceted culture. The screening of contemporary films as a means of engagement with contemporary Italian culture are an integral part of IC-CUNY’s mission to create lively and ongoing exchange and dialogue between Italy and America.

The Academy of Italian Cinema is a nonprofit organization with the stated goal of advancing the art of Italian Cinema, and it’s responsible for annually conferring the David di Donatello Awards for excellence in filmmaking. In 2020 the David di Donatello Awards will celebrate their 65th anniversary. The first ceremony took place in 1956 at the Cinema Fiamma in Rome when, for the first time, a gold miniature of the David di Donatello, made exclusively by BVLGARI, was awarded to filmmakers such as Walt Disney, and actors such as Gina Lollobrigida and Vittorio De Sica.