The Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2016's 30 films, driven by FIAT, lands in Australia from 13 September to 19 October, in various states, as listed above. It comes complete with special events, festival guests, opening night gala, closing night event, and everything else in between. Please check for the special presentations in your particular state (links also provided above), as you book, so you don't miss out on a thing. If you haven't already got a hardcopy program, you can view it online in PDF format. Keep up with the conversation on LIFF's Facebook page.
All images courtesy of Lavazza Italian Film Fest 2016 website
Special guests this year includes writer-director Ruth Borgobello who is breaking new ground with the first Australian-Italian feature co-production 'The Space Between', making its world premiere at LIFF. The other attending guest is actor Maeve Dermody who was nominated for numerous awards in the Rachel Ward directed film 'Beautiful Kate'. Both guests come with an impressive line-up of creative achievements.
Ruth will be attending Q&A sessions nationally (but not in Hobart), and Maeve will only be present in Sydney and Melbourne. Please check event pages for details.
The Opening Night film, Perfect Strangers will have you asking questions about how well you know those closest to you. This 97-minute long dramedy has an all-star cast involved in a classic morality issue. With the obsession of 'smartphones', it's timely that a film like this comes along and offers us a cinematic take on the subject.
A group of good friends gather around a dining table, (perhaps after a few drinks?) when one of them suggests they make all SMSs and phone calls public at this gathering, to prove they have nothing to hide. As you can imagine, this tender comedy soon takes a quick turn around the corner to reach piercing drama.
The 98 minute long Australian/Italian collaboration 'The Space Between' introduces us to two very different people who find themselves at a crossroad that'll change their future. One an ex-chef who has lost all hope after giving up his career to take care of his ailing father. The other, a spirited Aussie, chasing her dream while on a family mission in Udine, where they both intersect.
To quote filmmaker Ruth Borgobello, "To me, one of the most revealing moments in life is the strange intersection between love and loss..."
Sweet Dreams is based on Massimo Gramellini's autobiographical best-seller, about the profound effect the death of a mother has on her young son. It takes him half a life time to deal with it. A 134 minute drama, young actor Nicolò Cabras will break your heart with his honest and doe-eyed performance. His mother's sudden disappearance out of his life leaves a void that consumes him. As an adult he must deal with old wounds and learn to face what exactly took place on the night his mother vanished.
Where Am I Going? is an 86-minute hilarious comedy that boasts being the highest-grossing film in Italian cinema history. Politically incorrect humour and cultural criticism are well balanced, with its hilarity providing relief from the doom and gloom of reality.
Checco, a middle-aged slacker from Southern Italy carries a typical Italian obsession with grabbing a cushy public service job-for-life where you can practically count on a good little pension, without fear of losing the job, once secured. However, when love is in the air, it just might be the undoing of his pen-pushing career with benefits.
Special Presentation - Rocco and his Brothers (restored)
The 1960, 177 minute long crime drama, Rocco and his Brothers graces our screen thanks to new digital restoration techniques. Coupled with two previously censored scenes, it offers you an opportunity to see the film like never before. Dream a nostalgic dream as handsome matinee-idol Alain Delon and at the time, newcomer Claudia Cardinale burst onto the screen.
This is a family saga about impoverished Southerners seeking a better future in the industrial north of Milan. You'll be left gob-smacked as you watch them fall victim to corrupt forces and meander down to an explosive finale.
The closing night 118 minute long USA 1953 romantic comedy, Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck will have you falling in love with the film all over again. Touted as one of the best romantic comedies of all time, Princess Ann (Hepburn) opts out of her royal duties to have some fun as an everyday girl. Unfortunately, she falls right into the path of journalist Joe (Peck), who is chasing an exclusive, once he twigs who she really is. However, he wasn't counting on romance. This Hollywood classic will take you on a tour of Rome on the back of a Vespa with some laughs and silly antics in good supply.
Films have been grouped under headings of 'It's Complicated'; yes you guessed it, all films under this heading are about relationships. 'Donne Italiane' covers the best films by and starring Italy's leading ladies. 'Lights, Drama Action' has a listing of the best new crime dramas, comedies, biopics and more. Coming at you and filled with Italian passion, it's going to be a hard choice with so many goodies to choose from.