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Friday, March 7, 2014

Tonight in Person in NYC: Valeria Golino and Jasmine Trinca

Valeria Golino on the set of "Miele"
Valeria Golino will present her directorial debut film to New York audiences tonight along with her star, Jasmine Trinca. "Miele" (Honey) is the story of Irene, a woman who lives an isolated life. She works in a hospice setting, helping terminally-ill people die with dignity by giving them a drug. One day she supplies a supposed new client with a fatal dose, only to find out he’s perfectly healthy. Irene is determined not to be responsible for his suicide. From this moment, Irene and Grimaldi are locked unwillingly in a tense and unusual relationship which will change Irene’s life forever.

Valeria Golino

Valeria Golino is one of Italy's most celebrated actresses, but she is no stranger to American cinema. Born in Naples in 1966, Golino is most recognized in the U.S. for her role in "Rain Man." She's was the girlfriend of Tom Cruise's character, Charlie. The role put her on the map as an international star and paved the way for her to appear in other American movies, but her humble beginnings have always kept her grounded.

The daughter of an Italian father and Greek mother, Golino spent most of her childhood and teenage years traveling between Naples, Rome and Athens. She had dreams of becoming a doctor but the constant moving between Athens, where she stayed with her mother, and Rome, where she stayed with her father made it difficult to focus on school. So, she began modeling and eventually left her studies after she landed her first role in a feature film. Golino then went on to make a name for herself in Hollywood and has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry including Sean Penn, Mike Figgis, Steve Buscemi and Peter Fonda not to mention Dustin Hoffman and Barry Levinson.

Perhaps her most memorable role as an actress is in Emanuele Crialese's visually stunning masterpiece, "Respiro." Staring Golino and Vincenzo Amato, the film was shot on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa and tells the story of a not so traditional mother who struggles with meeting the demands of a narrow-minded village where everyone knows everybody else's business. It's a story of freedom, self expression and love that was shot in a place as close to paradise as one can get. The film is adored worldwide perhaps because of its idyllic setting and timeless story that has no boundaries. Golino fully embraces her character's free spirit, passion and love for her family.

Golino has a unique way of portraying her characters as very down to earth people, perhaps because of her humble beginnings or the fact that she traveled so much between cultures as a child.  She's indeed a great, classic Italian beauty, but her understanding of people and the human condition gives her insight into how her characters can be dignified and good-hearted while overcoming their own flaws and imperfections. It is exactly these qualities that made the transition from actress to director seem so smooth.

Jasmine Trinca

Jasmine Trinca is a Rome native, whose big break came when she was discovered during a casting call for Nanni Morretti's 2001 international tear-jerker, "La stanza del figlio" (The Son's Room), a thoughtful, dramatic film that explores how one family copes with the loss of a child. Profoundly sad at times, the story focuses on the positive side of grief;  digging deep to find the ability to move on while remembering your loved one. Trinca was just a child when she appeared in this film, but her performance was strong as she shared scenes with cinema veterans, Laura Morante and Morretti. Her performance earned her the prestigious Guglielmo Biraghi prize as best new talent of the year.

"La meglio gioventù"
Two years later, she took on the role of the emotionally tortured, Giorgia Esposti in Marco Tullio Giordana's  6-hour epic, "La meglio gioventù" (The Best of Youth). Originally made for television, the film had an international run in theaters throughout the world. Trinca's performance was outstanding and earned her a nomination for the David di Donatello for Best Supporting Actress and won her a Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress. The coming-of-age tale documents real-life events over a thirty-year period from the '60s to the '90s and follows two brothers and a group of friends as they make their way through the tumultuous times.

In 2006, Trinca teamed up again with Morretti for "Il Caimano," a film in which Morretti embraces his passion for politics as he takes on the hot topic issues of former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. The story centers on a down-on-his-luck producer named Bruno Bonomo, who is brilliantly played by actor, Silvio Orlando. Bonomo is pitching a script to Italian television, which is based on the life and work of Berlusconi, played by Nanni Morretti himself. "Il Caimano" is almost like a documentary within a movie.  With actual footage of Berlusconi, the film is a thought-provoking portrait of a businessman and politician whose well-earned controversy is still at the heart of heated debates all over the world. Trinca once again shared the set with veteran actors like Orlando, and managed to earn two nominations; a David di Donatello for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Ciak award for Best Supporting Actress.

"Un giorno deve andare"
In 2013, the same year that she made "Miele".. Giorgio Diritti's, "Un giorno deve andare" (There Will Come a Day) made its North American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film ponders the meaning of life through Mother Nature, and features Trinca in the lead role of a woman trying to get her life back on track as she sets out on a journey of faith and self-discovery in the vast, colorful Amazon rainforest. According to Diritti, "In order to overcome the pain you experience in your life, you need to find the true meaning of life." He describes his film as "the story of an Italian girl who begins a physical and spiritual journey in the Amazon rainforest in order to discover the deep meaning of her life, while escaping from her sorrows. Through this experience she will be able to find new hope." The film was so beautifully shot in the Amazon rainforest, the visuals alone would give anyone another lease on life.

The event is part of a new initiative, Cinema Made In Italy, between Istituto Luce- Cinecittà, the Italian Trade Commission and Emerging Pictures that will provide distribution to five Italian films in the United States. For information about tonight's screening and to buy tickets online, visit the Film Society of Lincoln Center at..

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