Cinema Italiano returns to Australia this year promising even more new movies, stars and events to thrill fans of la dolce vita. The 2014 Lavazza Italian Film Festival (LIFF) debuts in Melbourne with screenings from 17 September to 12 October at various Palace Cinemas. This year's line up of 34 films bring a dash of Mediterranean romance and stunning performances from some of Italy's greats including Monica Bellucci, Claudio Santamaria, Raoul Bova, Giovanna Mezzorgiorno and Kim Rossi Stuart to Victoria. The highly anticipated annual festival by the country's large Italian community has also brought Italy's new screen goddess, Nadir Caselli, to Melbourne's shores.
With youth and beauty to grace any runway show in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Nadir is the Festival's Ambassador. In addition to presenting screenings of her two Festival films, she also attended the Festival's Gala Opening Nights at Palace Cinema Como in Melbourne on 17 September and Palace Norton Street in Sydney on 18 September.
For readers unfamiliar with Nadir's growing fame in the Italian film industry, the 25 year old model-turned-actress has appeared on television and starred in 9 movies. She made her screen debut at just 18 years in Matteo Rovere's 'Un gioco da ragazze (A Game for Girls). She was named 'Best Actress' at the Cittadella del Corto Festival for her stellar performance in the short film 'Solo un gioco' (Just a Game) and was cited by Italy's foremost movie magazine, Fabrique du Cinema as one of the country's 6 most promising actors.
I managed to catch up with the bella donna during her visit to Melbourne to find out what she thinks about the Festival and the world's most liveable city.
Lionel: Is this your first time to Melbourne? What's your impression?
Nadia: Yes, this is my first visit and although I've only been here since 16 September, Melbourne has made a very good impression upon me. I've noticed many cultures seem to mix harmoniously and live well together, which is something that I really appreciate.
Lionel: What was enjoyable about making the films?
Nadia: Making the films were a joy and I think that was because they're a product of the combined passion of every single person working on them. Everyone does their utmost to make the best film possible, so we all had a common objective.
Lionel: Why do you think everyone in Melbourne should attend this year's LIFF?
Nadia: It's a terrific opportunity for people to experience the many wonderful aspects of Italian culture.
Lionel: What is your favourite film to watch in this year's LIFF?
Lionel: What is your hope for Italian films and the LIFF in Melbourne?
Nadia: I hope that the Festival continues to bring the best of Italian cinema to Australian audiences for many years to come and that it gives people an insight into our culture and way of life.
You can catch Nadir Caselli in not just one, but two Festival highlights - The infectious romantic confection University: More than Friends (Universitari – Molto più che amici) and the hit ensemble comedy, I Can Quit Whenever I Want (Smetto quando voglio). Screenings take place at Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth and The Kino Cinemas. Visit the website for more details on the venues, schedule and tickets.