Blog Italian Film Festival 2017 - Sydney

Italian Film Festival 2017 - Sydney

Posted Sept. 14, 2017, 8:18 a.m. by T

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Italian Film Festival 2017

Palace Cinemas

Sydney, AU

September 12, 2017

The twelfth of September saw the kick off of Italian Film Festival 2017 in Sydney:

The Italian Film Festival was founded in 2000 by Antonio Zeccola who, in one of Australia’s many migrant success stories, built Australia’s only national boutique cinema network, which now encompasses more than one hundred screens nationally.

Eighteen years ago, Antonio realised that Australia had other film festivals but nothing dedicated to Italian cinema, and an idea was born. In November 2000 in Sydney and Melbourne, the first edition presented 11 features, five retrospective titles and five shorts, including Opening Night selection Bread and Tulips (Pane e Tulipani) by Silvio Soldini and One Hundred Steps (I cento passi) directed by Marco Tullio Giordana. 

The event was a resounding success.

Spurred by audience demand, the second Italian Film Festival expanded nationally in 2001 to Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, with the Opening Night selection Malena starring Monica Bellucci, the Centrepiece The Son’s Room (La stanza del figlio) directed by Nanni Moretti and Closing Night Selection The Last Kiss (L’ultimo bacio) directed by Gabriele Muccino.

Since then the festival has grown and grown in popularity, to the point where it is now the biggest public celebration of Italian cinema outside Italy.

Organised entirely by Palace, a 100% Australian-owned independent family business, the festival continues to present new contemporary Italian cinema and cherished classics on the big screen. For almost two decades the Festival has celebrated Italian language, culture and la dolce vita with an ever-growing audience, last year attracting 86,500 people nationally.

The Opening Night of the Italian Film Festival was graced with a screening of Let Yourself Go! (“Lasciati andare”), the winner of the 2017 Italian Golden Globe for Best Comedy.

The screwball comedy features Cosimo and Nicole and stars the Toni Servillo as an uptight psychoanalyst whose life is upended when he becomes involved with an effervescent personal trainer, well-versed in matters of the body, but less of the mind.

With a beard and glasses à la Sigmund Freud, Servillo is Dr. Elia Venezia, a psychoanalyst who is separated from his wife, but still lives in the same apartment block as her. Venezia lives a comfortable and rather self-centred existence, until a spell of illness forces him to the doctor. Instructed to lose some weight, he befriends a vivacious Spanish personal trainer, Claudia (Verónica Echegui), a single mother with an unhinged criminal ex-boyfriend.

As Claudia drags Elia around Rome, a series of mishaps ensue, breathing new energy into his tired and predictable life.

Servillo, well-known for his dramatic work with Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), clearly delights in a change of pace with this light-hearted caper.

The screening was framed with a festa of Italian culinary delights, think samples of everything delicious that Italian cuisine has to offer, and a pre-part with live music with the band Soulganic and an afterparty with mozzarella testing’s, doici by Gigi and Italian tunes by DJ Sveta.

The Italian Film Festival will continue in different Australian locations until October 25.

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Photos by KAVV

Italian Film Festival 2017 (6 photos)

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