2016 Italian Film Festival

2016 Italian Film Festival

Elysia Zeccola Hill Director of the Lavazza Italian Film Festival, took five minutes between screenings to discuss her favourite Italian films, and the pick of this year's festival.

Your family has a long history in the film industry, is there a particular film that you shared with your father or grandfather that had a strong impact on you?

Cinema Paradiso resonates with our family as it is similar to our family story. My Nonno used to run the cinema in the small Italian village (Muro Lucano) where my father grew up before migrating to Australia, and when I was a baby my mother used to put the bassinet in the box office next to her and sell tickets while I was sleeping!

How has the Italian Film Festival changed over the years?

The festival has grown from a small cultural event into a major national highlight on the arts calendar now attracting over 70,000 admissions a year.

What is the ratio of Italian, to non-Italian festival patrons?

About 50/50 - the festival appeals not just to Italo-Australians, but also everyone that loves Italy and loves good films.

What has been your all time favourite moment at the Festival over the years?

My favourite moment is always at the Opening Nights, standing at the back of the cinema and watching and hearing the reaction of the audience to the film that has been selected, especially when they all laugh-out-loud or gasp in the same moments. It gives me a thrill.

Which three films do you think are the absolute ‘must sees’ in this year's program?

Perfect Strangers has everyone talking and features a great ensemble cast. It's about a group of friends at a dinner party who decide to put all their phones in the middle of the table and share any message or call that comes through. The game gets interesting when secrets start being revealed. If you see one film, see this.

Where Am I Going? is the highest-grossing film in Italian cinema history. It's rollicking good fun about a knockabout guy with a pen-pushing government job who just cannot be fired!

The first Italian Australian co-production The Space Between is a cross-cultural romance set against the stunning backdrop of Udine in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, starring Flavio Parenti.

Screenings at the Lavazza Italian Film Festival across Australia:


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