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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Italian Film Festival 2021

This year's festival will kickstart your European holiday cravings with a 26-movie lineup of new and classic dramas, thrillers, comedies and documentaries.
By Sarah Ward
October 01, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
October 01, 2021
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International travel could possibly be back on the cards for Australians by Christmas, but you'll be able to get a 26-film glimpse of Italy first. The reason: the 2021 Italian Film Festival. As it does every year, it's showcasing a stacked lineup of new and classic cinema from its chosen part of the globe, as part of its touring program.

For Melburnians, this year's fest will arrive in mid-November, in line with Victoria's roadmap out of lockdown. From Friday, November 19–Sunday, December 12, movie buffs will want to head to Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema, The Astor and Cinema Nova to get their Italian film fix.

The fest opens with The Ties — and with a marriage in crisis. Starring Alba Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro) and Luigi Lo Cascio (Human Capital), and helmed by Daniele Luchetti (La Nostra Vita, My Brother is an Only Child), this moving film follows a couple's tumultuous romance over the course of decades. It comes to the Italian Film Festival after opening last year's Venice Film Festival, and becoming the first Italian movie in more than a decade to do the latter.

At the other end of the 2021 Italian Film Festival, the event will close with a classic: Roberto Rosselini's Rome, Open City. It's part of a four-film retrospective of the director's work, and also falls within the fest's look back at iconic Italian leading ladies. This event always comes with a big appreciation for Italy's filmmaking past, which is where documentary Fellini Forward: From the Creative Genius of Federico Fellini, about the acclaimed director, also fits in.

Elsewhere, festival highlights include Cannes Film Festival Director's Fortnight winner To Chiara, about a 15-year-old who discovers her father might have criminal ties; Nanni Moretti's Three Floors, which is set across a Rome apartment block; Hidden Away, a biopic about artist Antonio Ligabue; and You Came Back, a thriller that makes ample use of Venice's lagoons. Or, there's also comedy Three Perfect Daughters; drama Tigers, about footballer Martin Bengtsson; and Sirley, which sees director Elisa Amoruso draw upon her adolescence for her first fictional film.

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