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NICE New Italian Cinema Festival 2023

stranizza d’amuri

The young authors festival returns to Splendid Palace with 8 screenings from 13 to 17 December. The initiative is organised by the Embassy of Italy together with New Italian Cinema Events. 

All screenings are free – but advance online booking is required through the links below. All movies are in Italian with English subtitles and Latvian voiceover.

Program and tickets

Wednesday 13th December

18.00 | “Fireworks” by Giuseppe Fiorello. After the screening: Q&A with the director (online)
20.45 | “Spotty and me” by Cosimo Gomez. After the screening: Q&A with the director

Thursday 14th December

18:00 | “The Grand Bolero” by Gabriele Fabbro. After the screening: Q&A with the director
20:30 | “An Italian Gourmet Crime Story” by Davide Minnella. After the screening: Q&A with the director (online)

Saturday 16th December

18:00 | “Like Turtles” by Monica Dugo. After the screening: Q&A with the director
20:30 | “Olympia’s Way” by Corrado Ceron

Sunday 17th December

18.00 | “Amanda” by Carolina Cavalli. After the screening: Q&A with the director (online)
20:30 | “The Last Night of Amore” by Andrea Di Stefano

Press release

From December 13 to 17 Riga will host the New Italian Cinema Festival for the second year in a row, offering audiences the opportunity to watch recent movies by eight emerging Italian directors at cinema “Splendid Palace”, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Riga and N.I.C.E. New Italian Cinema Events.

“Italian cinema is alive and kicking” according to the Ambassador of Italy to Latvia, Alessandro Monti. “N.I.C.E. returns to Riga to offer Latvian movie-lovers a glimpse into the creativity of the younger generation of Italian directors”.

“N.I.C.E. New italian Cinema Festival is a much-awaited event in our cinema. It is an opportunity not only to see films, but also to inspire conversations with young Italian filmmakers. It encourages new cooperation between our countries,” says Daira Āboliņa, the artistic director of cinema “Splendid Palace”.

The Festival features eight movies: “Fireworks” by Giuseppe Fiorello, “Me and Spotty” by Cosimo Gomez, “The Grand Bolero” by Gabriele Fabbro, “An Italian gourmet crime story” by Davide Minnella, “Like Turtles” by Monica Dugo, “Olympia’s Way” by Corrado Ceron, “Amanda” by Carolina Cavalli and “The Last Night of Amore” by Andrea Di Stefano. Directors Cosimo Gomez, Gabriele Fabbro and Monica Dugo will be in Riga to meet the audience at the end of the screenings of their movies in Splendid Palace.

The program

The Festival will open on December 13 at 18:00 with director Giuseppe Fiorello’s drama “Fireworks” (Stranizza d’amuri). The movie is inspired by the tragic double murder committed in the Sicilian town of Giarre in 1980 that took the lives of two young boys killed because of their homosexuality. The movie will be followed by an online Q&A session with the director. Surreal comedy “Me and Spotty” (Io e Spotty) will be shown on the same day at 20:45: after the screening, director Cosimo Gomez will meet the audience present at Splendid Palace.

On December 14 at 18:00, director Gabriele Fabbro will be present at the screening of his feature film “The Grand Bolero”. MovieMaker magazine has named Fabbro one of the most popular Italian contemporary screenwriters. On the same day at 20:30 Davide Minnella’s comedy “An Italian gourmet crime story” (La Cena Perfetta) will be screened. The movie tells the story of a kind-hearted mafia guy who runs a restaurant and a young chef striving for perfection: when they meet, they discover that they share a love for food and a dream of earning a Michelin star. The movie will be followed by an online Q&A session with the director.

Friday 15 December will be dedicated to education: directors Cosimo Gomez, Monica Dugo and Gabriele Fabbro will meet the students of the National Film School of the Latvian Culture Academy.

During the weekend, on December 16 at 18:00, director Monica Dugo’s debut film “Like Turtles” (Come le Tartarughe) will be screened: Dugo will meet the audience after the screening. At 20:30 it will be the time of comedy “Olympia’s Way” (Acqua e Anice) by Corrado Ceron, which tells the story of an elderly pop singer, Olympia, suffering from dementia and her journey with a young girl to the places and people who loved her and made her a star.

The festival will close on December 17, offering viewers the opportunity to watch director Carolina Cavalli’s first feature film, comedy “Amanda” (Amanda) at 18:00 (after the screening online Q&A with the film’s director) and director Andrea Di Stefano’s thriller “Last Night of Amore” (L’ultima Notte d’Amore) at 20:30.

Movies are in Italian with English subtitles and Latvian voiceover. Admission to screenings is free with the purchase of a 0.00 EUR ticket at and at the “Splendid Palace” cinema box office.

About N.I.C.E.

Riga is part of the international journey of N.I.C.E. as the festival takes place every year in numerous locations. “N.I.C.E. Festival is now in its 33rd edition and we hope we will able to repeat the success recorded over three decades of events around the world. Always keeping its mission well in mind, N.I.C.E. has succeeded in creating a series of recurring events capable of making the new Italian auteur cinema known around the globe” comments Viviana Del Bianco, artistic director of the Festival. “What drives us forward year after year is the great attention and open approach that international audiences have always showed towards our initiatives and to all new things in visual culture”.

In 2023 N.I.C.E. started his journey from the US with events in New York, Philadelphia and Washington: it will close its year of cinema in Florence for the Donatella Carmi Bartolozzi Prize, when the winner of this year’s edition will be announced. In between, NICE has travelled the world through the cooperation of the Italian diplomatic, consular and cultural network – touching base in several cities including Baku, Dubai, Dublin and Riga.

N.I.C.E. is animated by a small but very active staff that spends its energy to ensure that new Italian cinema is known and appreciated around the world. The Festival is supported by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Florence, Tuscany Region and Rai Cinema.

“The films selected for 2023 include works from established directors and first and second works of great value, ranging from comedy to drama, proving how, despite the difficulties of recent years, Italian authors are more active and motivated than ever,” says Viviana Del Bianco, artistic director of the Festival.