Free Films in English at 2024 ‘Apriti Cinema’


Through August 6, the 2024 Apriti Cinema festival will screen a different film every night starting at 9:45 pm in the Uffizi Galleries courtyard, free of charge and open to the public. Featuring modern films and classic cinema as well as documentaries, the festival promises to enthrall any film lover who wishes to experience a one-of-a-kind screening under the Tuscan night sky.  There are 180 seats so be sure to get there early to find a place.  Free water will available to movie-goers.

The event is part of the Estate Fiorentina 2024 programming overseen by the city of Florence. It is organized by the Associazione Amici dell’Alfieri, with programming curated by the Area Cinema di Fondazione Sistema Toscana and in collaboration with the Uffizi Galleries. The festival will additionally screen films to commemorate actress Lauren Bacall and actor Marcello Mastroianni, two storied film stars whose 100th birthdays would have been celebrated in 2024.

Films from 27 countries will be screened at the festival, representing Europe, Asia, and the South and North Americas. The screenings will span films released in 1946 all the way up until the current year. All films will be screened in their original languages, with Italian subtitles (and, in some cases, English subtitles). The following English-language films will be shown during the festival:

July 1 – Taking Venice (2023), dir. Amei Wallach. This thrilling documentary investigates the rumor that the American government conspired to rig the 1964 Venice Biennale and ensure that their chosen artist won the competition. Amid the complex global dynamics of the Cold War, this tale of nationalism and artistic influence is as informative as it is surprising.

July 6 – The Big Sleep (1946), dir. Howard Hawks. Revisit the classic crime drama that set the stage for decades of thrillers to come. A private investigator hired by a wealthy family soon finds himself entangled in a treacherous tale of murder, betrayal, and deception.

July 8 – Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV (2023), dir. Amanda Kim. Artist, filmmaker, and performance artist pioneer all in one. This documentary uses rare archival footage to tell the story of Nam June Paik, known as the father of video art, and his role in revolutionizing experimental art in the 20th century.

July 13 – How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), dir. Jean Negulesco. Three beautiful models sharing a New York City apartment are united by a common goal: to secure a millionaire husband and enter into a life of glamor. Starring Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Lauren Bacall, this screwball comedy is a classic romp featuring some of the most iconic actresses from 1960s Hollywood.

July 19 – A Greyhound of a Girl (2023), dir. Enzo D’Alò. An animated collaboration between seven countries tells the story of 11-year-old Mary, whose ambition to become a chef takes her on an adventurous journey of self-discovery. Under the guidance of her beloved grandmother, Mary confronts obstacles in pursuit of her dream.

July 20 – That They May Face the Rising Sun (2023), dir. Pat Collins. Joe and Kate Ruttledge, longtime London residents, leave their home in the city to relocate to the Irish countryside. Taking place over a year in a rural lakeside town, the film’s narrative explores the colorful characters and everyday routines that animate the couple’s new lifestyle.

July 23 – LYD (2023), dir. Rami Younis & Sarah Ema Friedland. This documentary born of a collaboration between Palestine and the United Kingdom tells the story of Lyd, the ancient Palestinian city that was once a lively urban center. It explores the devastation that befell the once-mighty city following the formation of the State of Israel in 1948.

July 29 – Written on the Wind (1956), dir. Douglas Sirk. By tracing the story of an oil tycoon whose family is consumed by greed, this iconic Douglas Sirk film is a thesis on the downfalls of American vice. Bolstered by wealth and uninhibited by morals, the children of a Texas oil baron embark on a whirlwind series of betrayals and misdeeds.

August 6 – Murder on the Orient Express (1974), dir. Sidney Lumet. A classic mystery story that follows a detective on an ill-fated train ride to London that quickly goes awry when a passenger is murdered. Boasting an all-star cast, this film promises a thrilling watch for anyone passionate about collecting clues and sleuthing out a suspect. (Tara Monastesse)