Slice of Italian culture coming to La Paloma


The San Diego Italian Film Festival returned to La Paloma Theatre in February, with a new film each month from March through August.

Four years ago, the festival expanded to La Paloma in downtown Encinitas, a move that festival board member Anthea Beletsis said has been enthusiastically received. The festival’s home base is the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

“People in North County tend to be educated and appreciate different cultural offerings, and Italian films are right up their alley,” said Beletsis, who lives in Cardiff. “Often the theater is packed.”

She added: “It’s exciting to be in an old-fashioned theater with one big screen. You don’t see that elsewhere.”

The next festival showing is the political satire “Viva La Liberta,” which translates to “Long Live Freedom,” at 7 p.m. on March 10 at La Paloma.

From comedies to dramas, Beletsis said the festival aims to show a diverse mix of the best of recent Italian cinema over the upcoming months.

“It’s an eight-course meal.”

Beletsis has been a board member since the festival started a decade ago, when a love of Italian culture led her to get involved. Her last name is Greek, but she said like others in North County, she has an appreciation for other cultures.

“Italian film is excellent,” she said.

Films are shown in Italian with English subtitles. Visit for more information and a full film schedule.