At the Newport Beach Film Festival, Italian Cinema Takes the Spotlight

Thu, 10/13/2022 - 13:00
La Cena Perfetta film still - chef and restaurant owner cooking
Still from Davide Minnella's La Cena Perfetta (The Perfect Dinner)

Calling all California-based cinephiles: At the height of Italian Heritage Month on October 18, Davide Minnella’s La Cena Perfetta (The Perfect Dinner) will make its US premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival’s Italian Spotlight event.

With a screenplay by Stefano Sardo, Giordana Mari and Gianluca Bernardini, La Cena Perfetta is billed as an “Italian gourmet crime story,” but is as much a suspenseful drama as it is a passionate tribute to Italian food and culture. Set in Rome, La Cena Perfetta tells the story of an earnest owner of a mafia money-laundering restaurant (Salvatore Esposito), his ambitious chef (Greta Scarano), and the duo’s uphill climb toward earning a Michelin star and a shot at redemption. 

Vicky Carabini, a key sponsor of the Italian Spotlight event and a fervent supporter of Italian-American cultural heritage throughout southern California, said that La Cena Perfetta is a film “sure to leave us smiling with pride.”

Ahead of the screening, the Italian Spotlight event will kick off with an invitation-only "Sunset Series” beginning at 5.30pm at Lido Marina Village in nearby Costa Mesa. After the event’s hosted bar and tastings from Nobu and Lido Bottle, red carpet arrivals will begin at 6.30pm, with the screening and afterparty both to follow.

Carabini underscored the fortuitous timing of this year’s Italian Spotlight event: “The Italian-American community is beyond pleased to once again be celebrating the Italian Spotlight as part of the Newport Beach Film Festival. It is particularly special this year as the event is being held during Italian Heritage Month.” 

Since its founding in 1999, the Newport Beach Film Festival has been recognized as one of southern California’s leading film events. Over the past two decades, the coastal cinema fest has screened more than 300 acclaimed motion pictures and hosted award-winning talent from all over the world. Part of a larger European Showcase Celebration, the Italian Spotlight event is a fixture on the festival's annual calendar. Italy Magazine is among this year's sponsors.

The festival runs from October 13 to 20 and includes screenings, seminars, networking events, receptions and galas. Main sponsors include the City of Newport Beach, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, UCI Health, Fashion Island, Morgan Stanley, the Los Angeles Times and Visit Newport Beach. 

If you go

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Italian Spotlight at Newport Beach Film Festival
Triangle 3
1870 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA
October 18, 2022, 7pm (PDT)
Italian Spotlight program 
Festival website