Palace Cinemas along with the new Principal Partner of the Italian Film Festival, ST. ALi Coffee, are pleased to finally announce the Melbourne dates for the 2020 programme. Running from 25 November until 9 December, the flagship event will showcase Italian culture, stories and language across Palace Cinemas with COVID Safe practices a top priority.

With reduced capacities, industrial air conditioning units – circulating fresh air into the cinema every ten minutes, enforced distancing through allocated seating and increased cleaning of all areas, audiences can enjoy and relax in comfort.

Due to restrictions, people are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.

After the long wait, one opening night just won’t do – there will be Opening Night Celebrations across Como, Westgarth and Balwyn Cinemas screening a different Festival highlight at each. Tickets are $35 (or $30 MClub) and include a glass of iL Fiore Prosecco and a Festival Tote Bag filled with goodies.

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To celebrate the 20th anniversary – and in honour of the late great Ennio Morricone, one of the world’s greatest film composers – the ST. ALi Italian Film Festival will close with Giuseppe Tornatore’s MALENA (Malèna) starring Monica Bellucci.

With a Campari cocktail on arrival and Connoisseur ice cream – there’s no better way to celebrate! The Centrepiece selection for the 2020 programme is Marco Bellocchio’s crime drama THE TRAITOR (Il traditore), which was the big winner at Italy’s 65th David di Donatello Awards – the country’s equivalent of the Oscars. The absorbing film sees Pierfrancesco Favino deliver a powerhouse performance as Tommaso Buscetta, a Sicilian Mafia boss-turned-police informer.

There will also be two Special Presentations this year: Ferzan Ozpetek’s new film THE GODDESS OF FORTUNE (La dea fortuna), featuring an all-star cast including Stefano Accorsi, Edoardo Leo and Jasmine Trinca.

The second Special Presentation screening is MARTIN EDEN, by acclaimed writer and director Pietro Marcello. The award-winning drama provocatively transports Jack London’s 1909 novel about a self-taught and outspoken writer to a pivotal moment in Italy’s pre-war history.

The programme also comprises of two films to share with your family. For kids fifteen years and older is MY BROTHER CHASES DINOSAURS (Mio fratello rincorre i dinosauri). Inspired by a true story, this is a joyous and poignant film about the fear of being judged.

And for the whole family, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE WORLD (Il giorno più bello del mondo) – a modern-day fairy tale in which a down on his luck theatre manager receives a strange inheritance – the custody of two children, and discovers that one of them has amazing telekinetic powers.

Other highlights for the 2020 ST. ALi Italian Film Festival include:

  • 7 HOURS TO WIN YOUR HEART (7 ore per farti innamorare) about a desperate journalist who enlists the aid of a seduction expert to regain his ex-girlfriend in a fun Neapolitan romantic comedy starring Giampaolo Morelli and Serena Rossi.
  • BAD TALES (Favolacce), set in a southern suburb of Rome and starring Cannes award-winner Elio Germano, this dark tale sees tensions unfold in a small community during a sweltering summer.
  • FEEL YOUR MEMORIES (Tornare), a captivating psychological drama which follows a woman returning to her childhood home in 1990s Naples. Featuring a stellar performance from Giovanna Mezzogiorno.
  • GOLDEN MEN (Gli uomini d’oro), a crime comedy starring Fabio De Luigi, Edoardo Leo and Giampaolo Morelli in which a group of desperate men in Turin attempt an armoured truck robbery.
  • HAMMAMET recounts the last year of controversial politician Bettino Craxi’s life as he lived in exile following corruption charges and features an astonishing performance from Pierfrancesco Favino.
  • I HATE SUMMER (Odio l’estate) sees much-loved Italian comedians Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo star in an amusing story of friendship in which three families accidentally book the same holiday rental.
  • LETSCLEANAPP (TuttAPPosto) – featuring hilarious performances by Luca Zingaretti and Roberto Lipari, this comedy sees a student upending favouritism and corruption in his university with an app for students to rate their professors.
  • ONCE UPON A TIME…IN BETHLEHEM (Il primo Natale) sees the famous comedy duo Ficarra and Picone star as a thief and a priest who are magically transported to year zero, Palestine, where they’ll have to make sure that the birth of Jesus will follow its course.
  • ORDINARY JUSTICE (Palazzo di giustiziaI) is a quietly impactful drama from newcomer Chiara Bellosi, which examines the emotions behind the legal machinery at work in the courtroom following an attempted armed robbery.
  • SAY IT LOUD (Cambio tutto), a new comedy from Guido Chiesa (director of Let Me Introduce You to Sofia) which follows one woman’s quest to gain control over her life.
  • THE BIG STEP (Il grande passo), a bittersweet tale of brotherhood, and believing in your dream, no matter how far-fetched it may seem featuring Giuseppe Battiston and Stefano Fresi.

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