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September 29, 2022

The Italian Film Festival

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Italian Film Festival, Belli Ciao

The 2022 ST. ALi Italian Film Festival presented by Palace, Australia’s pre-eminent event celebrating the culture and cinema of Italy, returns this spring, promising to transport viewers on a favoloso escape to Italy. 

The festival will open with the Australian premiere of Italian box office hit Belli Ciao from popular comedy duo Pio and Amedeo. It follows two formerly inseparable friends who reunite in their hometown in Puglia after years apart, resulting in an entertaining north vs south culture clash.

Closing the festival this year will be the Oscar-winning trilogy of romantic comedies Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow  (Leri, Oggi, and Momani) starring the inimitable Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. From acclaimed director Vittorio De Sica, this classic will be a fitting way to bid arrivederci to the festival. It also forms part of the Spotlight on Naples, the heartbeat of Italian Cinema, the festival sidebar presented by the Italian Cultural Institute Melbourne. 

Many films from this year’s selection were either filmed in Naples and/or from or featuring Neapolitan stars or directors.

From official competition in Cannes comes this year’s festival centrepiece: Mario Martone’s new drama Nostalgia, featuring a superb performance from Pierfranceso Favino, about a man who returns to his hometown of Naples after forty years and rediscovers the city’s codes and rules, facing a past that haunts him.

Two exciting announcements are the Special Presentation films coming direct from their world premieres at major international film festivals: Lord of the Ants (lI signore delle formiche) starring Luigi Lo Cascio, direct from its In Competition screenings at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival, is a powerful new drama based on the 1968 trial of Aldo Braibanti, a Roman intellectual whose relationship with a younger student caused a nationwide scandal; and The Hummingbird (Il colibri), Francesca Archibugi’s star-studded ensemble drama led by Pierfrancesco Favino, which follows its main character from childhood to adulthood, exploring the relationships that have criss-crossed his life over the years, direct from its Gala screening at the Toronto International Film Festival and screening in the Festival from October.

Festival Director, Elysia Zeccola, says ‘It’s that time of year when we emerge from our wintery cocoons to embrace spring and take a cinematic trip to Italy! Join us at the cinema for a ST. ALi coffee, vino or aperitivo, as we share the enjoyment of seeing films on the big screen together.’

Byron Bay 23 September – 9 October.  

For more information visit: www.italianfilmfestival.com.au.


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