Now in its 19th year, the Lavazza Italian Film Festival continues to grow in size and strength.
Glam spoke to Festival director, Elysia Zeccola about the special place this festival has in her heart.
“We started the Italian Film Festival 19 years ago, because we would go to Cannes and Berlin and other festivals to buy films for the cinemas, and we saw that there were all these wonderful Italian films not reaching a wider audience,” says Elysia.
“So we decided to start our own festival in order to show them. It is still the largest festival which we produce ourselves, and the second largest foreign-language festival in Australia, after the French.”
This year’s program offers the film-goer a rich mix of drama, comedy, documentary and special events, all celebrating Italian film and culture.
“It’s a really excellent selection this year, with a lot of Australian premieres. The drama section is particularly strong this year, whereas in the past there has been more emphasis on comedy. For example, The Order of Things touches on the immigration crisis which is happening around the world. And we have Euforia, which is the second directorial work from actor Valeria Golino, and follows the relationship of two brothers.”
Three powerful documentaries are also on offer this year: Ferrante Fever, which examines the incredible work of the anonymous author known as Elena Ferrante; Water and Sugar, which explores the life and work of acclaimed cinematographer Carlo di Palma; and Balentes-The Brave Ones, an extraordinary work made by Italian-Australian director Lisa Camillo who, upon returning to her homeland of Sardinia, found that it had become a bomb-testing ground for NATO.
We asked Elysia what films she would recommend if someone could only see three in this year’s festival.
“I think Dogman is a striking film. and it has been critically acclaimed. Another in my top three would be Happy as Lazarro, which is a magical realist fantasy; and my Big Gay Italian Wedding is a really fun trip to the altar,” she says.
Special events in Adelaide this year include Love and Bullets, a Mafia musical, on September 26th, along with drinks and entertainment; and a remaster of the 1977 classic Suspiria, for closing night on October 14th.
The Lavazzo Italian Film Festival runs from 19th September to 14th October at Palace Nova Eastend and Prospect.
Click here for screening times and further details.