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Calling all lovers of Italian film. The Italian Film Festival is back for 2016, screening at Palace Cinemas between 22 September - 12 October. Expect the brazen romance, high energy, indulgence, and poise of Italian culture to truly bring the films to life.
The Lavazza Italian Film Festival returns to Perth
The opening night kicks off with the award-winning film Perfect Strangers, or Perfetti sconosciuti in Italian. Directed by Paolo Genovese, the comical story follows seven close friends who decide to share every telephone call, email and text message they receive in a bid to prove they have nothing to hide. As their secrets unfold the bond between the friends weaken and they realise they are more like strangers to each other than they had ever thought. The film has nabbed six awards including Best Film and Best Screenplay at the 2016 David di Donatello Awards, Best Comedy at the 2016 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, and Best Screenplay for an International Narrative Feature at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.
On the opening night event, you can also enjoy a Bandini prosecco on arrival before sitting down to watch Perfect Strangers. The celebrations continue with the opening night after party at Connections Night Club, which will feature live entertainment and a selection of Peroni brews, Aquilani vino, and a Lavazza and Connoisseur "Affogato Bar" to whet your appetite for all things Italian
The festival Director, Elysia Zeccola Hill, has been overseeing the Italian Film Festival for the last 16 years. Hill says of this year's event: "This festival is a celebration of Italian language and culture, and most of all cinema – these are the best films to have come out of Italy in the last 12 months."
Italy has made significant contributions to art, music, fashion, and food, so it is little wonder that their film industry is ripe with abundance. As of 2014, Italian films have won 14 Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film, as well as 12 Palmes d'Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. Evidence of Italian acting talent is undeniable, with Al Pacino, Sophia Loren and Isabella Rossellini to name just a few.
The centrepiece film is Sweet Dreams (Fai bei sogni) by director Marco Bellocchio. The story is a rendition of Massimo Gramellini's best-selling novel, Sweet Dreams, Little One. Massimo (Valerio Mastandrea) is a journalist from Turin who is caught in an on-going internal struggle over the tragic loss of his mother when he was a child. He then meets Dr Elisa, played by Bérénice Bejo, who finally seems to understand what lies at the crux of his pain. Together they strive to move on from the skeletons in their respective closets in an exquisite performance.
Sweet Dreams by prolific Italian director Marco Bellocchio. Starring Bérénice Bejo and Valerio Mastandrea.
An Australian-Italian co-production, The Space Between, will also be screened as part of the festival. Melbourne filmmaker Ruth Borgobello takes the viewer on a journey of cross-cultural romance and will be on-site here in Perth for a Q&A session at the screening.
Supported nationally by Fiat and locally by the West Australia, The Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2016 is sure to captivate with all the warmth and tradition of the Italian way.
Keep an eye out for the full program, due for release on 16th August. Find out more and sign up for festival updates by visiting www.italianfilmfestival.com.au. Screening at Cinema Paradiso & Luna on SX.