Hills Gazette - - GREEN THUMB -

DANIELE Foti-Cuz­zola is en­joy­ing ‘la vita bella’ af­ter land­ing the role as a youth am­bas­sado­rial in this year’s Ital­ian Film Fes­ti­val.

The 25-year-old, who re­cently re­turned from an Ital­ian sum­mer, joins ac­tor Greta Scac­chi as an am­bas­sador for the three-week fes­ti­val, which kicked off on Septem­ber 21 with a gala event fea­tur­ing 2017 Ital­ian Golden Globe for Best Com­edy film win­ner Let Your­self Go.

Mr Foti-Cuz­zola said he was ex­cited to be work­ing with Ms Scac­chi and to be in­volved with the fes­ti­val.

“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 be liv­ing la dolce vita.

“I am a huge fan of Greta’s work, es­pe­cially Look­ing For Ali­brandi which is my all­time 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.

“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.

“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 bilin­gual chil­dren’s books, said his pick for the fes­ti­val was La Vita e’ Bella.

Daniele Foti-Cuz­zola is the Lavazza Ital­ian Film WA Youth Am­bas­sador.

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