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18° & CLEAR SKY ON THURSDAY 17 OCTOBER IN SYDNEY
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2019

The festival is marking its 20th anniversary with a jam-packed lineup of quirky comedies, political thrillers and poignant documentaries.
By Sarah Ward
September 02, 2019
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Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2019

The festival is marking its 20th anniversary with a jam-packed lineup of quirky comedies, political thrillers and poignant documentaries.
By Sarah Ward
September 02, 2019
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This year marks a massive milestone for Australia's Lavazza Italian Film Festival: 20 years. So, cinephiles can expect a whole lot more of the fest's beloved highlights when it takes over Sydney's Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinemas and Palace Central from September 17 to October 16. There'll be plenty of parties — both on- and off-screen — as well.

When you're not stepping into the glossy but murky world of professional footballers with opening night's The Champion, you'll be watching the world premiere of romantic drama Promised, which features a stacked Italian Australian cast. Or, come closing night, you'll be enjoying the sights and sounds of Ron Howard's Pavarotti, an intimate documentary about one of the country's biggest stars. Loved Paolo Sorrentino's acclaimed Silvio Berlusconi biopic Loro last year? This year, the new director's cut is on the bill.

The festival also pays particular attention to new Italian cinema, specifically new Italian comedies, so viewers can immerse themselves in poignant tales of tragedy, slick courtroom dramas and cross-cultural rom-coms. Keep an eye out for ensemble piece If Only, which stars Alba Rohrwacher and Riccardo Scamarcio, and arrives in Australia fresh from premiering at the Locarno Film Festival; The Armadillo's Prophecy, based on a best-selling graphic novel, and exploring a young man's friendship with an imaginary armadillo; and the equally humorous and thoughtful Ordinary Happiness, which finds inspiration in the short stories of Francesco Piccolo.

With 32 movies screening over the festival's month-long run, audiences can also dive into Italian art history courtesy of a couple of movies about Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci. The blasts from the past keep coming, thanks to a two-film Bernardo Bertolucci retrospective — including a restored version of his political thriller The Conformist, and the five-hour, Robert De Niro-starring drama 1900.

The Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2019 will screen at Sydney's Palace Cinemas from September 17–October 16. For more information and to book tickets, visit the website

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