The ST. ALi Italian Film Festival is back and will screen (hopefully) nationally from 29 September. The flagship event will showcase Italian culture, stories and language in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Byron Bay at reduced capacity and then in Melbourne, when restrictions permit.
The festival opens with a new live-action version of the classic fairy tale PINOCCHIO. From Matteo Garron, the director of Gomorrah and Dogman, this is an enthralling Gothic fantasy starring Roberto Benigni as the woodcutter Geppetto. To celebrate the 20th anniversary – and in honour of the late great film composer Ennio Morricone – the Festival will close with Giuseppe Tornatore’s MALENA (Malèna) starring Monica Bellucci. The Centrepiece selection for the 2020 programme is Marco Bellocchio’s multi award-winning 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 award-winning new film THE GODDESS OF FORTUNE (La dea fortuna), featuring an all-star cast including Stefano Accorsi, Edoardo Leo and Jasmine Trinca. This will screen nationally along with the short film BEING MY MOM, the directorial debut of aforementioned actress Jasmine Trinca, starring Alba Rohrwacher and Maayane Conti, which is currently in competition at the 77th Venice International Film Festival. 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.
Some other highlights:
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.
I HATE SUMMER (Odio l’estate) sees much-loved Italian comedians Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo star in a hilarious story of friendship in which three families accidentally book the same holiday rental.
FEEL YOUR MEMORIES (Tornare). This captivating psychological drama which follows a woman returning to her childhood home in 1990s Naples. It features a stellar performance from Giovanna Mezzogiorno.
SAY IT LOUD (Cambio tutto). A new hilarious comedy from Guido Chiesa (director of Let Me Introduce You to Sofia) which follows one woman’s quest to gain control over her life.
This year the Festival is also launching the ST. ALi Italian Film Festival eTicket Bundle. Escape to Italy with 5 eTickets for $55 or 10 eTickets for $100. The ticket bundle is available to buy online only from September 10 until September 30 and is valid for the duration of the 2020 Italian Film Festival. This is a Movie Club exclusive offer. Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit: www.italianfilmfestival.com.au
The 21st ST. ALi Italian Film Festival presented by Palace screens in the following locations:
Sydney: 29 Sept – 18 Oct, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinemas, Palace Central
Melbourne: *TBA, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Kino Cinemas, The Astor Theatre
Canberra: 1 Oct – 18 Oct, Palace Electric Cinemas
Brisbane: 1 Oct – 18 Oct, Palace Barracks and Palace James Street
Adelaide: 29 Sept – 13 Oct, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas
Perth: 1 Oct – 14 Oct, Palace Raine Square, Luna on SX, Leederville and Windsor Byron Bay: 2 Oct – 14 Oct, Palace Byron Bay
* The 2020 ST. ALi Italian Film Festival dates for Melbourne will be confirmed as soon as cinemas can safely re-open.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- Italian Film Festival 2017 – film feature
- Moro Spanish Film Festival 2019 – movie preview
- German Film Festival 2019 – preview
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television