With an impressive line-up of 30 films in the 2016 Lavazza Italian Film Festival, we have compiled a list of the five must-see films.
The romantic drama follows Marco (Flavio Parenti) a 35 year-old former chef who has given up his career to return to his hometown in Northern Italy to nurse his ailing father. When tragedy strikes, he meets Olivia (Maeve Dermody), a fiery Aussie girl and eventually they find themselves falling in love amongst the stunning vineyards and blue Adriatic of Friuli Venzia Giuli.
Fiore, debuts at number two on the list thanks to impressive reviews received at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year. Italian director Claudio Giovannesi deftly weaves this coming-of-age story of a teenager and her experiences of finding love at a juvenile detention center in Italy. Giovannesi's decision to cast a number of non-professional actors, including several who had previously spent time behind bars lends a refreshing air of authenticity to his fourth feature film.
Best known to audiences as the screenwriter of I Am Love starring Tilda Swinton, and for his TV work on Italian hit Crazy for Love, Ivan Cotroneo cobbles together a story of three friends united by their outsider status. One Kiss (Un Bacio) zeros in on the twin themes of homophobia and school yard bullying which inevitably leads to conflict and tragedy that the protagonists must grapple with. A mixture of romance and nostalgia One Kiss nabbed the award for Best Screenwriting at Italy's annual film awards and has been likened to the 'Stand By Me' for our generation.
Where Am I Going is the latest comedy to emerge from Italy, breaking box office records and claiming the title as the nation's highest grossing film. Where Am I Going? or Quo Vado? is a comedy about a dull, middle-aged government clerk who goes to any lengths to hold onto his 9 to 5 job. When the ministry insists he resign, Checco (played by Luca Medici) refuses, and ends up relocated to the most improbable countries, from the wilds of Africa to freezing Norway. Full of witty gags and cracking one-liners, the film hit a nerve (albeit a comedic one) of Italians fed up with a bloated government bureaucracy.
See the full program for a cinema near you at italianfilmfestival.com.au
Image: Scene from The Space Between, courtesy of the Italian Film Festival