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Italian Film Festival 2022

Melbourne's Italian Film Festival is back for 2022 with Italian box office hits, Sophia Loren-starring classics and a Luca Guadagnino-helmed documentary about a shoemaker to the stars.
By Sarah Ward
August 18, 2022
By Sarah Ward
August 18, 2022

Film-loving Melburnians, prepare to start wishing you're in Italy. Yes, it's Italian Film Festival time again, and it's heading to Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema, The Astor and Cinema Nova with quite the lineup. On the bill from Thursday, September 15–Wednesday, October 12: everything from Italian box office hits and Sophia Loren-starring classics through to a documentary about a shoemaker to the stars helmed by Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria's Luca Guadagnino.

This year's IFF will open with Belli Ciao, which did huge box office business in Italy. It both stars and is co-written by comic duo Pio D'Antini and Amedeo Grieco, who play once-inseparable friends who went their own ways after high school — Pio leaves for Milan, Amedeo stays in their hometown — and now reunite, complete with a north-versus-south culture clash.

From there, highlights include The Hummingbird, an ensemble drama with Nanni Moretti (Three Floors) and Berenice Bejo (Final Cut), which hits IFF fresh from premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival; drama Lord of the Ants, about the controversial 1960s trial of intellectual Aldo Braibanti, which screens direct from its Venice Film Festival competition debut; and The King of Laughter, which features Toni Servillo (The Hand of God) as actor and playwright Eduardo Scarpetta.

Among the documentary selection, two big titles stand out. The aforementioned Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams focuses on Salvatore Ferragamo, while Ennio — The Maestro sees director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) pay tribute to legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight).

Elsewhere on the bill, there's rom-com Breaking Up in Rome, homecoming drama Nostalgia, play-to-screen adaptation The Great Silence, the fairground-set Swing Ride and prison The Inner Cage — the latter of which also features Servillo. In fact, he pops up again in Casanova's Return, as an acclaimed Italian director making his last movie about Casanova.

More than 25 films grace the full lineup — including blasts from the past, such as closing night's Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni-starring Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. To celebrate the centenary of filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini's birth, three of his iconic movies — all adaptations of literary works — will screen as well, with The Canterbury Tales, Arabian Nights and The Decameron all getting big-screen showings.

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