It’s time to get your espressos ready to enjoy a cinematic favourite, the 2021 Palace and ST. ALi Italian Film Festival, screening from 20 October (with Canberra and Melbourne to follow on 17 and 19 November respectively).
After another disrupted year, it is with great anticipation that this hallmark event celebrating Italian culture, stories, and language hits screens around the country just in time to provide a much-needed escape and the chance to become immersed in another world.
As previously announced, new cinema locations have been added for this year’s festival which will be screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, and Byron Bay and tickets will be on sale from today, Thursday 30 September.
The ST. ALi Italian Film Festival will open with the Australian premiere of Daniele Luchetti’s THE TIES (Lacci) which opened last year’s Venice Film Festival and is a sumptuous marriage in crisis drama spanning several decades.
Closing the 2021 Festival will be the Roberto Rosselini classic ROME, OPEN CITY in a stunning 4K restoration. The film, which was conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II in Rome, will be part of the Rossellini Retrospective presented by the Italian Cultural Institute Sydney alongside screen gems AMORE, JOURNEY TO ITALY, PAISAN and STROMBOLI. In addition to this retrospective the programme will also feature a celebration of classic Italian screen goddesses Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale with some of their most loved performances in MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE, BUONA SERA, MRS. CAMPBELL and THE LEOPARD.
The Centrepiece selection is a recent winner of the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, TO CHIARA (A Chiara). Jonas Carpignano’s searing drama tells the gripping story of a 15-year-old girl from Calabria, whose family life starts to unravel when she discovers her beloved father may have criminal ties.
This year’s Special Festival Presentation is acclaimed director Nanni Moretti’s (Mia Madre, The Son’s Room) latest film THREE FLOORS (Tre piani). Featuring a tremendous ensemble cast, the film traces the disparate lives of three families who reside in the same apartment block in Rome’s stylish Prati neighbourhood.
Family films also feature in the program with GLASS BOY, a heartwarming tale of courage and adventure for all ages about a young boy usually confined to his bedroom setting out to prove he can live like a normal kid, plus WHEN MUM IS AWAY…WITH THE FAMILY (10 giorni con Babbo Natale). A Christmas-themed sequel to the 2019 Festival hit 10 Days Without Mamma, the misadventures of the Rovelli family are back in this entertaining road movie, starring Fabio De Luigi and Valentina Lodovini.
For kids fifteen years and older is CAM’S WAR a tale of survival and the challenge between Good and Evil which follows a young boy and his sister on a dangerous journey through an apocalyptic world.
CAM’S WAR is also part of The Female Lens sidebar, presented by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Melbourne, which features contemporary films from female directors. The other is SIRLEY (Maledetta primavera) from upcoming director Elisa Amoruso and is a highly personal story, based upon her adolescence and a special friendship she forms when she moves to the outskirts of Rome.
Other highlights for the 2021 ST. ALi Italian Film Festival include:
EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE ALRIGHT (Cosa sarà)
A sudden revelation about his state of health leads a man to reevaluate his relationships with his family in this personal story from director Francesco Bruni, starring Kim Rossi Stuart.
HIDDEN AWAY (Volevo nascondermi)
Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear winner Elio Germano delivers a powerhouse performance in this multi award-winning biopic about the troubled life of celebrated artist Antonio Ligabue.
IF YOU CARE FOR ME (Se mi Vuoi Bene)
A man with a knack for accidentally setting off catastrophes decides to help out the people around him but proceeds to cause them even more trouble in this entertaining comedy about friendship starring Claudio Bisio.
LIKE A CAT ON A HIGHWAY 2 (Come un gatto in tangenziale – Ritorno a Coccia di Morto)
The sequel to the comedy smash hit Like a Cat on a Highway, Paola Cortellesi and Antonio Albanese return as Monica and Giovanni, whose lives become intertwined again three years later.
PADRENOSTRO (Presented by MIFF)
A 10-year-old boy witnesses an assassination attempt on his father (Pierfrancesco Favino in a Venice Best Actor-winning role) in Claudio Noce’s personal drama, inspired by his own family trauma.
PAOLO CONTE, VIA CON ME
An enthralling documentary following the life and work of Italian singer and composer Paolo Conte, interwoven with concert footage, interviews, and reflections of the singer by other friends and colleagues such as Roberto Benigni and Isabella Rossellini.
THE PREDATORS (I predatori)
Winner of Best New Director at the 2021 David di Donatello Awards, Pietro Castellitto’s black comedy takes aim at class antagonism in contemporary Italy when two Italian families on opposite ends of the social ladder collide.
Tigers is the enthralling true story of former Inter Milan player Martin Bengtsson’s rollercoaster ride through the cutthroat world of professional soccer.
THREE PERFECT DAUGHTERS (È per il tuo bene)
Marco Giallini (Perfect Strangers, God Willing) is back – alongside Vincenzo Salemme and Giuseppe Battiston – with a comedy hit that sees three friends try to hinder the love affairs of their daughters.
YOU CAME BACK (Lasciami andare)
The Closing Night film of the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, this dramatic thriller set against a backdrop of Venice’s mysterious lagoons stars Stefano Accorsi as a man who finds himself torn between the past and the future.
And at selected theatres, FELLINI FORWARD: FROM THE CREATIVE GENIUS OF FEDERICO FELLINI presented by Campari. Direct from its Venice premiere, this pioneering project explores Fellini’s creative genius using new technology to emulate the works of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time in a new and unique movie set in Rome.
For the second year running, the ST. ALi Italian Film Festival eTicket Bundle (5 eTickets for $65 or 10 eTickets for $125) will be available as a pre-sale offer exclusive to Movie Club members and valid at all Palace Cinemas locations.
ALL TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE –For more information visit: www.italianfilmfestival.com.au
The 2021 ST. ALi Italian Film Festival presented by Palace screens in the following locations:
Brisbane 20 October – 14 November, Palace James Street, Palace Barracks
Adelaide 20 October – 14 November, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas and Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas
Perth 20 October – 14 November, Palace Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX and Windsor Cinema
Byron Bay 22 October – 7 November, Palace Byron Bay
Sydney 27 October – 21 November, Palace Norton, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, and Palace Central
Canberra 17 November – 12 December, Palace Electric
Melbourne 19 November – 12 December, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema, The Astor, and Cinema Nova
For information and updates, please visit italianfilmfestival.com.au and sign up.