This year sees the 20th Italian Film Festival in Australia. Steadily growing in popularity, the Lavazza sponsored event is now one of the pivotal film festivals on the circuit.
The opening night gala on October 1st is set to be one of the best ever.
Enjoy a glass of Calneggia Asolo Prosecco on arrival together with a selection of traditional paninis from Ayers House, then savour a delicious Connoisseur Cookies Cream Choc Top as you watch the Adelaide Premiere of The Champion. Each guest receives a gift bag with goodies from Lavazza Coffee, Sirena Tuna, Byron Bay Cookie, Tony Nicollini and more. Following the screening there is an after-party with a fabulous selection of canapes from Ayers House and magnificent wines with entertainment by legendary DJ Jaki J.
“Il Campione [The Champion] has all the ingredients for a great opening night film. It’s a really good story, some fantastic actors and some great music, including an Australian band at the beginning” says Elysia Zeccola, Festival Director.
Chatting to Glam about this year’s line-up, Zeccola was bubbling over with enthusiasm.
The retrospective section of the festival this year looks at the amazing Bernardo Bertolucci, showing both The Conformist and 1900.
Says Zeccola “Bertolucci had incredible style. The shots of the film could be photographs hung on the wall. They’re intoxicating. He had a great knowledge of film and a long and expansive career. He was a poet initially so he has a very philosophical way of looking at things.”
Australian-Italian productions are a growing genre, and this year sees the premiere of Promised, an Australian production with Italian actors, which stars Tina Arena and Paul Mercurio. The Adelaide screening on October 16th includes a pre-show reception.
Connoisseurs of gritty drama will love The Vice of Hope by Edoardo de Angelis. His Indivisible was a hit at the 2017 festival, and this is set in the same, run-down part of Naples.
Zeccola says there are plenty of great comedies as well, with one of the stand-outs being Let Me Introduce You to Sofia. “A divorced father falls in love with an old flame, but she lets him know right at the beginning that she hates children. So the weekends when his daughter isn’t there he’s throwing her toys into a bucket and taking pictures off the wall, trying to pretend he doesn’t have a child.”
One of the most interesting screenings this year is Loro. The story of Italian politician and playboy, Silvio Berlusconi, was the opening night film last year. Zeccola explains “Last year we opened the festival with Sorrentino’s Loro and it was so devisive! It really got the conversation going, with people that loved it and people that were offended by it. As a festival, that’s really exciting when you create that kind of discussion around politics and culture and art. What was shown last year was the edited down version, cut for the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. But the Italian version was much longer and was actually released in two stages. So we are screening that version, in one sitting, with an intermission.”
And those with children will be thrilled to see that this year the Italians have produced a family film, The Legend of the Christmas Witch, about the mythic figure La Befana. All tickets for this film will be $15, making it very affordable for families and school groups.
Documentaries this year include two on master painters: Amazing Leonardo; and Michelangelo-Endless, as well as Ron Howard’s eagerly-awaited Pavarotti. The latter has been chosen as the special closing-night screening on October 23rd, along with a pre-show reception.
The Lavazza Italian Film Festival runs from October 1st to October 23rd, with screenings at PalaceNova Eastend and Prospect.
Click here for screening times and further information.
For opening night gala tickets, click here.