Hamilton, Ontario’s Festitalia Welcomes Mark Spano’s Film “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife”

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A new documentary celebrating the island and its people.

Sicilia Canta, in cooperation with Cinema Insieme film club, the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), and  Festitalia, will present the Canadian premier of the new feature-length documentary by Mark Spano, “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” on Wednesday, June 20, beginning at 7 p.m.

The premiere will be held in the Bishop Ryan Theatre Auditorium in Hamilton, 1824 Rymal Road. East Hamilton, ON. A Q&A session with the filmmaker and a reception including Sicilian music will follow the film.

ICFF logo croppedSpano had scheduled the one-time-only Hamilton screening on another date until Charles Criminisi, Hamilton Coordinator for ICFF, suggested he hold the premiere during Festitalia, the annual festival that shares the “tastes, sounds, and passion” of Canadian-Italian culture and heritage with the Hamilton community-at-large.

“We’re excited and honored to show the premiere of this entertaining and informative documentary, ‘Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,’” Criminisi said. “It promises to be a very entertaining evening with writer, director, and producer Mark Spano.”

Spano is the son of Sicilian immigrants (he holds dual citizenship). He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For five years, he worked diligently on his documentary of his family’s homeland because “little has been produced about the cultural or historic relevance of Sicily,” he explained.

“The most invaded place on earth, the three-sided island rivals Greece and Egypt as a primary source for Western ideas. Yet fewer places on the planet compare to Sicily as a place of wonder and intrigue.

“But for crime, Sicily has gone unexplored,” he continued. “The island’s association with the Mafia, so deeply entrenched in popular consciousness, has obscured more rounded and accurate depictions of its history and culture.”

Until now. Spano hopes his film will begin to change the public’s perception of Sicily and Sicilian people. Click here to view the documentary’s trailer.

Tickets to the premiere are $20 per person. To order advance tickets, call Joe Baiardo (289-880-1561), Sam Cino (905-388-2199), or click here to order online.

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” and filmmaker Mark Spano, go to markspano.wordpress.com.

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