Italian Cinema Expert Brings Culture and Traditions to Charleston

Italian Cinema Expert Brings Culture and Traditions to Charleston

Giovanna De Luca, Italian professor. Photo by Mark Stetler

Giovanna De Luca, Italian professor. Photo by Mark Stetler

Nuovo Cinema Italiano is the brainchild of Italian professor Giovanna De Luca. Now in it’s eight year, the Italian Film Festival will kick off on November 6, 2014 and run through November 9 at the College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre.

RELATED: See the schedule of Italian films at Nuovo Cinema Italiano.

De Luca says, “This is such a culturing experience for the community and something our students really get excited about.”

Earlier in 2014, De Luca was named one of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive People of 2014. That means she’s one of the most forward-thinking people making a positive impact on the future of Charleston.

RELATED: Read the CHARLIE Magazine profile of Giovanna De Luca.

Q: Why do you think you were named 50 Most Progressive?

A: To me, progressive means forward thinking, eager to forge ahead and embrace new experiences with an open mind. When enough people do this, a community advances and improves. Eight years ago I organized the first Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival in an attempt to encourage artistic, social and cultural progress.

Q: Why are you an innovator?

A: The film festival, which presents only recent Italian movies, is one way to learn about another country (and continent) and, by extension, learn something about yourself. Too often Italy is romanticized or viewed as a tourist destination. Not many know what is really going on there. The film festival’s purpose, therefore, is to offer an avenue for exploration to students, faculty and the wider Charleston community, and to present Italy—its beauty and its blemishes—in an honest way. In so doing, the festival can help dispel unhelpful cultural stereotypes and assumptions.

Q: As a professor, why is it important to be thinking of innovations and pushing the boundaries?

A: Intellectual boredom is the worst menace for the spirit of a young mind. It is an educator’s responsibility to introduce young people (and others) to new ideas, to challenge their biases and preconceptions, to shake up their world and, hopefully, inspire them to do great things.

RELATED: Learn more about the College’s Italian studies program.

Q: What is your big dream? How are you going to push the boundaries next?

A: My hope is that Charleston can continue to grow in a way that respects and celebrates all residents while becoming more diverse and international—a city where people are true citizens of the world. Perhaps the Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival can play a part in this, becoming a vibrant showcase not just of Italian culture, but of Charleston itself, an event that attracts students, local residents and visitors alike.