Prepare to say ciao to Italian cinema throughout September and October — and we mean hello, not farewell. Yes, the annual showcase of films from or about the European nation is back for another round. In fact, it's the Lavazza Italian Film Festival's 17th year, and if the program is anything to go by, it's going to be another good one.
Not only does the 2016 fest kick off with Italian box office hit Perfect Strangers and close with the digital restoration of the Audrey Hepburn-starring classic Roman Holiday, but it also boasts a world premiere. Local audiences will be the first on the planet to see the first-ever Australian-Italian feature co-production, The Space Between. Charting the intersection of an Italian ex-chef and a spirited Aussie in the scenic Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, it has been described as " a celebration of the Italian spirit of la dolce vita."
Elsewhere, the 30-film program keeps highlighting the best Italian filmmaking has to offer, such as Where Am I Going?, the highest-grossing film in Italian cinema history. Strands dedicated to relationships and leading ladies serve up plenty of both, including straight-from Cannes prison drama Fiore and straight-from-Venice romance The Worldly Girl (and yes, we mean straight from this year's Venice Film Festival in September).
Plus, with coming-of-age tale Arianna, Gran Turismo racing thriller Italian Race and gritty character study Napoli Jungle also on the bill, IFF does what all good fests should by offering something for everyone. Don't say you don't have something to watch for the next couple of months as the festival tours the country.
The Lavazza Italian Film Festival tours the country between September 13 and October 19, screening at Sydney's Palace Norton St, Palace Verona and Chauvel Cinema from September 13 to October 9, Melbourne's Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas and The Astor from September 15 to October 9, and Brisbane's Palace Barracks from September 28 to October 19. For the full program, visit the festival website.