BASSENDEAN resident Daniele Foti-Cuzzola is enjoying la vita bella after landing a youth ambassadorial role as part of this year’s Italian Film Festival.
The 25-year-old, who recently returned from an Italian summer, joins actor Greta Scacchi as ambassadors for the three-week festival which kicks off tonight with a gala event featuring 2017 Italian Golden Globe for Best Comedy film Let Yourself Go.
Mr Foti-Cuzzola said he was excited to be working with Scacchi and be involved with the festival which would involve living and breathing Italian cinema for the next few weeks.
“The role basically involves me living and breathing Italian Cinema for the next few weeks and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.
“I’ll basically living la dolce vita.
“ I am a huge fan of her (Greta’s) work specially Looking For Alibrandi which is my all-time favourite Australian movie,” he said.
“I remember watching it in primary school and a lot of it went over my head.
“I just loved the Italo-Australian references and the big tomato sauce making scene but I revisited it in high school and it’s such an important film to me and one of very few films that paints a realistic and non-stereotypical portrayal of Italo-Australians.
“The fact that Greta was part of that project is phenomenal and I’m really looking forward to meeting her.
“She has had an astounding career that is continuing to grow from strength to strength and is one of the few actresses I know who has consistently worked in both Italy and Australia.”
Having recently appeared on SBS’s The Chef’s Line, the avid cook who runs food blog Dine with Daniele said while he had always immersed himself in Italian culture he loved merging it with his home country.
“Both my parents were born in the province of Messina, Sicily and I’m so lucky to have had my parents bring me up with my cultural traditions here in Australia,” he said.
“I feel like I genuinely have the best of both worlds and am blessed with two homes: Italy and Australia.
“I am extremely passionate about my culture and share my love for all things Italian on my blog Dine with Daniele, which focuses mostly on Italian recipes but also the occasional cultural content.
“I have been going to Italy ever since I was two and I used to try and go to Italy at least every two years but recently the trips have become an annual event and that’s something I’d like to continue.
“I think from the Film Festival perspective it’s important to have someone who has a fresh, and current view of Italy.
“A lot of people have an outdated view of Italy and Italian culture and for me it’s important to maintain those cultural ties and keep up to date with the latest trends in food, fashion, culture and film.
“Italy like the rest of the world has also evolved and a medium like Italian cinema showcases to the world that there is so much more to Italy than pizza, pasta and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.”
Mr Foti-Cuzzola, whose next move is to delve into bi-lingual children’s books, said his pick for the festival was La Vita e’ Bella.
WHAT: Italian Film Festival
WHEN: September 21 to October 11
WHERE: Cinema Paradiso and Luna on SX