Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated annual festivals in the world, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. With Christmas fast approaching, our office has become an exhibition of Christmas delights of different cultural backgrounds.
The annual Lavazza Italian Film Festival will be hosted in Sydney from the 12th of September to the 8th of October. Palace Cinemas across Australia will be screening the best of contemporary Italian films as part of the Festival. Previous years have drawn close to 86, 500 people with attendance growing every year, serving as a testament to the film festival’s success.
The Italian Film Festival was found in 2000 by Antonio Zeccola, who set out to create an opportunity to celebrate Italian film and fix the fact that there were no film festivals in Australia dedicated to Italian cinema. Starting out in Sydney and Melbourne, the festival soon expanded nation-wide and was met with resounding success. Alongside Italian film, the Festival is also an opportunity to celebrate Italian language and culture to an ever-growing audience.
This year’s Festival Ambassador is Italian-Australian actress Greta Scacchi who has gained international recognition for her film career which began in 1982. Her 1996 portrayal of Empress Alexandra in television film, Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny earned her an Emmy Award, whilst her 1999 portrayal of an Italian-Australian single mother in the Australian film Looking for Alibrandi earned her the AFI award for Best Supporting Actress.
This year’s Film Festival is unique as it introduces the inaugural Bulgari Critics’ Choice Award. The jury panel for the Award includes many professional cinema and film critics from Australia and Italy alongside an international guest star.
The six films which are in the running for the inaugural award are, At War For Love; Fortunate; I Was A Dreamer; Indivisible; Pure Hearts and Sicilian Ghost Story. They will premiere across Australia at the festival and showcase the diversity of contemporary Italian film.
The Film Festival will also hold several special events which alongside special screenings include after parties, cheese tastings, Italian music and other activities to complement the film experience and is sure to once again be a success.