Opening & Closing Nights

Join us this year for a very special Opening Night Event at the Castro Theatre and a Delightful Wine-Focused Closing Night Event at the Vogue.


This year, Opening Night will take place at the beautiful Castro Theatre on Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30pm, featuring Gianfranco Cabiddu’s award-winning THE STUFF OF DREAMS.

A fateful shipwreck casts convicted Camorra criminals and a handful of itinerant actors onto a windswept island that houses a prison, overseen by a warden (Ennio Fantastichini) living there with his beautiful young daughter Miranda (Alba Gaïa Bellugi). Comedy abounds when the gangsters infiltrate the theatrical troupe to hide their true identities. The suspicious warden commands the lead actor (Sergio Rubini) to stage a performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in a bid to distinguish the thespians from the miscreants. Winner of the 2017 David di Donatello for Best Adapted Screenplay, we’re proud to have screenwriter Salvatore De Mola in attendance.

After the film, join us for a festive After Party at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club in North Beach (1630 Stockton Street). Chat with friends—or make new ones!—over delicious antipasti and a beautiful selection of Italian wines. Lorenzo Scarpone, CEO of Italian wine import company Villa Italia, will host a tasting of 9 premium boutique Italian wines from Veneto, Friuli, Marche and Tuscany, including Sparklings (NV Prosecco Extra Dry, Gemin and NV Prosecco Extra Dry, La Maschera); Whites (2016 Sauvignon blanc, Pecorari; 2015 Merlettaie, Ciu Ciu; 2013 Salmariano Verdicchio Riserva, Marotti Campi); Reds (2015 Ciliegiolo, Sassotondo; 2015 Cinabro Chianti riserva, Casa alle Vacche; 2010 Amarone, Nicolis; and Dessert (NV Fior d’Arancio Spumante, La Montecchia).

Purchase Film only tickets (General Public $14; Seniors, Students, Disabled $13; IIC & KQED Members $12) or Film & After Party (General Public $25; IIC, KQED and SF Italian Athletic Club Members $20).

Buy Opening Night Tickets



Closing Night Film at the Vogue Theatre on Sunday, November 12 at 6:15pm, featuring Nicolás Carreras’ THE DUEL OF WINE.
Preceded by presentation of the City of Florence award to the most compelling narrative by an up-and-coming director.

A perfect pairing for the Bay Area’s love of wine and its surrounding culture, THE DUEL OF WINE is a comic portrait of a charismatic sommelier, Charlie Arturaola, who takes a mighty fall from grace when he temporarily loses his palate. Charlie tries to claw his way back into the world of competitive wine tasting as a ghost-taster for a handsome but buffoonish friend. It’s a gleeful, stinging satire of the obsessive world of drinking and dining contests. Lino Pujia, actor/producer and Charlie Arturaola, actor will attend the screening. Closing Night film includes a glass of wine! Purchase Film only tickets (including a glass of wine).

After the film, close out the festival with a toast (or two) at an intimate Italian Wine Tasting After Party at Osteria Restaurant, right across from the Vogue Theatre. Hosted by sommelier Charlie Arturaola, this exclusive experience features wines from Tuscany and Veneto, including Carpineto – Chianti Classico 2013, Arnaldo Caprai – Montefalco Rosso 2014, Bisol Crede – Prosecco superiore – 2016 and Cantina del Castello – Soave Classico 2016.

Purchase Film only tickets (General Public $14; Seniors, Students, Disabled $13; IIC & KQED Members $12 or Film & Italian Wine Tasting After Party (General Public $60; IIC, KQED and SF Italian Athletic Club Members $50; passholders $50).

Buy Closing Night Tickets