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Italian Film Festival 2021 Highlights

29 September

Now in its 22nd year, the ST. ALi Italian Film Festival has returned to Palace Cinemas, showcasing the best in new Italian cinema as well as classic gems of old. Screening nationally in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Byron Bay from October onwards, tickets are now on sale and with so many incredible films on offer, we’re breaking down this year’s festival to highlight just a few of this year’s must-sees.

The Ties

Distinguished by an outstanding cast, this stylish and engrossing new drama from award-winning writer/director Daniele Luchetti (La Nostra Vita, My Brother is an Only Child) charts the lives of a middle-class Italian family across three decades. The first Italian film in over a decade to open the Venice Film Festival, Luchetti’s intricate and affecting film effortlessly shifts back and forth through the years, depicting new perspectives and examining age-old relationship conflicts. It’s emotional, indelible cinema.

“A finely crafted, quality drama. Luchetti’s grasp of relationships is utterly authentic and dives deep into the cruel dynamics of a couple at the breaking point.”
The Hollywood Reporter

To Chiara

From multi-award-winning writer/director Jonas Carpignano (A Ciambra, Meditteranea), To Chiara is a searing, gripping and poignant drama about a Calabrian teenage girl who learns some difficult truths about her close-knit family. Ingeniously structured and building to a thrilling climax, Carpignano’s neo-realist tale up ends the mafia genre with an emotional and urgent new perspective.

“Brilliant! Gripping and unpredictable.”
– Indiewire

Hidden Away

Winner of the Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear, Elio Germanodelivers a knockout performance in Hidden Away, an authentic and visionary portrait of the exceptional artist Antonio Ligabue. Delving into the artist’s dark side and horrific visions, but also his need to be understood and acknowledged, director Giorgio Diritti delivers a passionate biopic about a revolutionary loner in modern art.

“Impressive. The definitive biopic of Antonio Ligabue.”
– Hollywood Reporter

Three Perfect Daughters

In this comedy hit set in Rome, Marco Giallini (Perfect Strangers IFF16, God Willing), Vincenzo Salemme and Giuseppe Battiston (The Big Step IFF20) star as three friends and brothers-in-law, Arturo, Antonio and Sergio, confronted with the same problem: the men learn who their daughters are dating. A hilarious comedy from director Rolando Ravello (screenwriter of smash hit Perfect Strangers). Three Perfect Daughters combines laugh-out-loud gags with social criticism to produce an entertaining tale of father-daughter relationships

“A film ready to entertain.”
– Mad Mass

You Came Back

Festival favourite Stefano Accorsi (The Goddess of Fortune IFF20, The Champion IFF19) stars as a man torn between the past and future in the psychological thriller, You Came Back, which closed the Venice International Film Festival last year. Based on the 2012 eponymous novel by Cristopher Coake, director Stefano Mordini transposes the American ghost story to moody Venice in an engrossing gothic drama about love, belief and the difficulty of letting go.

“Mordini is one of the few Italian filmmakers to capture the thriller soul of the lagoon city.” 
– Sentieriselvaggi


Rome, 1976. Valerio (Mattia Garaci) is ten years old and has a vivid imagination. When he witnesses, together with his mother Gina (Barbara Ronchi, Feel Your Memories IFF20), the attack on his father Alfonso (Pierfrancesco Favinoin his Venice Film Festival Best Actor-winning role, The Traitor IFF20) by a terrorist group, his childhood is turned upside down. The social turmoil of Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ is at the heart of writer-director Claudio Noce’s semi-autobiographical third feature Padre Nostro, a personal story inspired by his own family trauma that views the harsh adult world from a child’s perspective.

“A deep dive into a director’s subconscious.”
– The Guardian

With so many incredible films on offer, you better get started on your shortlist!

Click here for Tickets, Session Times, Film and Festival information.

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