The ST. ALi Italian Film Festival presented by Palace, returns to our screens with a slew of superb best new films from Italy, and a retrospective honouring one of Italy's greatest filmmakers. Be sure to register on the website for updates and stay connected via social media. Festival dates are as follows.
The festival kicks off with Opening Night film Belli Ciao. A hit comedy co-written by popular comic duo Pio and Amedeo, this is a lighthearted north versus south culture clash. Two inseparable friends since childhood, come the end of high school, they are faced with the fateful dilemma that grips young people of the South. To leave for the north for work, or stay in the south and build a better tomorrow. The ambitious Pio leaves and Amedeo remains, working with the Mayor to help prevent the exodus of the youth to the north. However, due to an unpredictable twist of fate, the two friends meet again years later. Working towards a common goal, they rediscover their friendship and come to the realisation about what 'home' really means.
The Closing Night film stars none other than Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in the 1963 film Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. The two stars play lovers in the three vignettes, reuniting on the screen after seven years. Loren plays a poor but resourceful Adelina, a wealthy Anna and the prostitute Mara, which features the iconic tease scene by Loren. It's a witty gem set in different parts of Italy, from master filmmaker Vittorio de Sica and is effortlessly hilarious.
Some of the highlights includes a spotlight on Naples, bringing you the rich Neapolitan film heritage of the last 30 years; cinema that has won acclaim from the public and critics. The Pier Paolo Pasolini Centenary Retrospective presents three of Pasolini's iconic film adaptions of literary works. Born on the 5th of March 1922 in Bologna, Pier Paolo Pasolini was a controversial Italian motion-picture director, actor, poet, novelist and intellectual, noted for his socially critical, stylistically unorthodox films. He was murdered in mysterious circumstances on November 2, 1975, and his legacy remains contentious.
Sara Serraiocco is the festival guest this year, arriving directly from the Venice Film Festival to present two films at this year's festival: Special Presentation Lord of the Ants, and Casanova's Return, directed by Oscar-winning Gabriele Salvatores. With many accolades under her belt for Best Actress, Serraiocco developed a passion for dance and cinema from a young age and moved to Rome to attend the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (the Italian National Film School), and hasn't looked back. As always, this year's program is filled with special events and premieres that come with pre-screening delights of wine, mocktails and That's Amore cheese grazing table for some, especially if you're in Melbourne for ''The Perfect Dinner'. Embrace all that Spring has to offer and hop to the cinema for a big screen experience, and a ST. ALi Coffee, vino or aperitivo.