Travel to Italy through its cinema: the best of Italian cinematography and the latest epic Italian blockbusters of this year are showing in Australia. What to attend and what to watch from this 36-day film festival? We've got you covered!



The Lavazza Italian Film Festival is around the corner, and with lots of great films to watch and engaging special events to attend, we will keep you up to date on the best of the fest during its 2015 season. This will be the 16th edition of this gem from the film festival world in this country, and thanks to Palace Cinemas and Lavazza we are privileged to be able to catch 32 titles of the best films produced this year in Italy. As usual, the rich program will include drama, comedy, crime, black comedy and documentary, however a big input has been added this year: experimental and fantasy cinema is going to be featured in the program as well.

Tuesday 15 September- OPENING NIGHT

The festival will take off with the screening of God Willing/Se Dio Vuole, a comedy that has had sold out sessions in Italy and surely will be pleasing the local crowd at this opening. The film stars Alessandro Gassman, Marco Giallini and Laura Morante; it tells the story of an atheist surgeon with a God-complex, a charismatic priest, a dysfunctional family and an announcement that takes everyone by surprise. Awarded best new director at the David Di Donatello awards 2015 and at the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists 2015, this one is a must watch!

In addition to this hilarious film, the night will be kicking off with live entertainment, food and drinks, including espresso martinis, wine and beer. Attendees will also receive a sweet treat from Connoisseur Gourmet Ice Cream and a Lavazza goodie bag post screening.

The Opening Night in Sydney will be held at Palace Cinemas Norton St, and The Astor Theatre in Melbourne. Please check here for prices and more details.

*Please note there will also be smaller receptions on the same night at other Palace Cinemas venues.

Sunday 20 September- Festival Guest: Luca Zingaretti Q&A

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Along with the screening of Perez, a gripping crime thriller that depicts an urban wasteland, hiding the underbelly of organised crime through the filtered lens of the justice systems, protagonist Luca Zingaretti will be following with a Q&A. He has just been awarded at the Italian Golden Globes for best actor and will happily be accompanying this film screening all the way from Italy.

Tuesday 22 September- Mid Festival Affair: Forgiven not Forgotten

Latin Lover
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If after the opening night you are still thirsty for more comedy, Italian delicacies, live entertainment and drinks, then you wont want to miss this special event with the screening of Latin Lover. This is a charming and amusing new offering from acclaimed writer/director Cristina Comencini that tells the story of the life and secrets of the great Italian star Saverio Crispo, a "Latin Lover" played seductively by Francesco Scianna. For more details and prices please click here.

Sunday 11 October- CLOSING NIGHT

This is one of a kind screening. For film lovers, for political history enthusiats and for unique event seekers, here is your chance to catch the restored version of the 1970 classic The Conformist/ Il Comformista by unforgettable director Bernardo Bertolucci's. This drama has been described as a " visually intoxicating art deco style adaptation of Alberto Moravia's novel" about an upper-class follower of Mussolini, and as " an orgasm of coolness" according to Michael Atkinson from Village Voice.

This special Closing Night event concludes with this screening, and sweet treats and drinks before the film. It will take place at The Astor Theatre in Melbourne and the Chauvel Cinema in Sydney. For more information check this site.

Now, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and confused with too many cool films to watch at this festival, so we have made it easy for you. These are our favourites from each genre:


Mia Madre is the lively and brilliantly absurd comic clash from veteran director Nanni Moretti featuring John Turturro and an award winning performance from Margherita Buy as an unhinged filmmaker dealing with a personal crisis

Mia Madre
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The Legendary Giulia/Noi E La Giulia Winner of the Best Comedy at the Italian Golden Globes in 2015, this film by Roman actor/director Edoardo Leo brings a fantastic cast together to tell the story of three down-on-their-luck men who meet by chance and decide to combine forces and risk everything to start a Bed and Breakfast.

The Dinner/I Nostri Ragazzi which follows the moral struggle facing two wealthy brothers and their wives in this gripping adaptation on the Dutch best-seller by Herman Koch. This is the Australian Premiere of this Venice multi award winning film.


Do you see me?/Scusate Se Esisto! A warm-hearted, comedic gem stars Paola Cortellesi and Raoul Bova and delivers laugh-out-loud moments to celebrate the importance of individual value and being true to oneself

Do you see me?
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Latin Lover a charming and amusing new offering from acclaimed writer/director Cristina Comencini which tells the story of the life and secrets of the great Italian star Saverio Crispo, a "Latin Lover" played seductively by Francesco Scianna.


Italy in a day/Un Giorno Da Italiani Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores experiment portrays Italy though the eyes of Italians exposing the hopes and fears through a collage of 632 videos sent from all over Italy in a touching mosaic of life in Italy.

Tales of Tales/ Il Raccoto Dei Racconti featuring an all star cast of Salma Hayek, Toby Jones, Vincent Cassel, John C. Riley, Shirley Henderson and Hayley Carmichael. Not for the faint hearted, the film delves into the depths of the human psyches in a delicious dream-like visual feast brimming with imagination and mischief.

Tales of Tales
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For the full film program, movie trailers, tickets and venues info please visit the festival´s website.

The Lavazza Italian Film Festival starts on 15th and 16th September in NSW and VIC respectively, and goes until 11th October 2015 in all Palace Cinemas venues. Other cities will also have their own schedule throughout September and October.

*Disclaimer: recommended films´ synopsises provided by Asha Holmes Publicity

WORDS: Gina Rubiano is an Arts and Cultural Manager, specialised in film. Her passion is the acquisition, exhibition and distribution of cinema, and her professional background has mainly consisted in roles in which she has been able to promote and grow new audiences for great films in Australia. Find her in Linkedin.