He personified tall, dark and handsome. Women swooned at his ballads while men tried to copy his effortless charm. He knocked the Beatles off the charts with “Everybody Loves Somebody”, founded “The Rat Pack” and was one of Las Vegas’s most revered performers for nearly four decades. He was the “King of Cool”, and now he is coming to Toronto.

The Movie

The Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), presented by Lavazza, is making its grand return to movie theatres on Tuesday, Nov 30 at 7:00 p.m. at the TIFF Bell LightBox in Toronto with an extraordinary tribute to the iconic Dean Martin, one of the founders of true “Italian style”.

With Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin was the man to know in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and later, in the ‘60s, a founding member of The Rat Pack. Born Dino Paul Croce, the child of working-class Italian immigrants, he grew up to be a boxer, a singer, a comedian and an actor. He was one of the most beloved performers of all times, thanks to his charisma and to his unmistakable style, which made him the epitome of cool fashion.

This exceptional event will include glamour, fashion, cuisine, music, and naturally, a whole lot of Dean Martin with the Canadian theatrical premiere of the CreativeChaos documentary DEAN MARTIN: KING OF COOL, directed by Tom Donahue, and featuring Deana Martin and Leonardo DiCaprio among its executive producers.

The documentary offers some never-before-seen insight into the extraordinary life of Dean Martin, including his complicated relationships with friends and business partners Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and many others. Following the legend in all his endeavours, the film gives us a new look at one of the world’s most beloved entertainers through the interviews with admirers such as critic Gerald Early, actor Jon Hamm, Hip-Hop artist RZA, and Alec Baldwin.

The Party

Dean Martin was often heard to say, “In a tuxedo, I’m a star. In regular clothes, I am a nobody.” He lived in a time when every night was an occasion, men and women were always dressed to the nines, yet he somehow managed to retain his own signature style.

To celebrate this spirit, the ICFF King of Cool Night will be a Hollywood black-tie special event honouring the legacy of the performer and one of the highest icons of fashion for the Italian community. The screening will be followed by an exclusive after-party at the glamorous Ricarda’s at 9:00 p.m, where you have a chance to showcase your own “Creative Black Tie”.

The glamorous night will feature exquisite Italian food in celebration of the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World with dishes inspired by Dean Martin’s all-time favourites.

Moreover, Deana Martin, daughter of the great entertainer, will be in attendance. A talented singer, actress, and performer in her own right, she has appeared and performed since a very young age in the most iconic and renowned TV shows, halls, and festivals, leaving a lasting imprint in the entertainment industry. She will be presented with the ICFF Excellence Award to recognize her remarkable and inspiring career, and her commitment and dedication to upholding her father’s legacy and the Italian lifestyle abroad.

Other celebrities attending include the executive producer Paul Barry, the director, Tom Donahue, and the producer, Ilan Arboleda. For film buffs, there will be a Q&A hosted by Jim Slotek, renowned TFCA film critic.

Tickets to the screening and the after party are on sale now at icff.ca. It is $20 for the movie only, and $120 for both the screening and the party. We heard that only 100 tickets are available for the latter, so if you want to show off your cool, book your tickets soon.

p.s. what is Creative/Hollywood Black Tie?

The dress code for the after-party calls for Creative/Hollywood Black Tie. It means you are encouraged to put a unique twist on the black tie dress code.

As a refresher, black tie for men means traditional tuxedo and accompaniments: a black dinner jacket with matching trousers, a white formal shirt, a black bow tie or alternatively a black long tie, black dress socks, and black formal shoes. A formal waistcoat or cummerbund is optional.

For ladies, chic cocktail dresses, evening or even ball gowns are all acceptable black tie choices.

Since the operative word here is “creative”, let your imagination run wild. Play with different textures, prints, patterns, colours, or accessories to create your unique yet elegant look. According to the organizers, the easiest way to do it is to inject a bit of colour into the otherwise black-and-white ensemble.