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The 21st St.Ali Italian Film Festival, presented by Palace, will return to cinema screens nationally this September, showcasing a superb selection of the best new films from Italy. Screening in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Byron Bay (in socially-distanced settings) and in Melbourne once conditions permit.

The Festival will open with a spectacular live-action adaptation of the classic fairy tale PINOCCHIO. From the Director of Gomorrah and Dogman, Matteo Garrone’s seven-time Nastro d’Argento award-winner is an enthralling gothic fantasy starring Roberto Benigni as the woodcutter Geppetto.

With heartfelt dramas and hilarious comedies, the Festival will transport cinema goers to some amazing locations in Italy and afar including Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cernobbio and Morocco. Never has there been a better time to escape to the cinema.

“Although the Festival will look a little different this year, we will continue to share our love for Italian cinema, language and culture and give our loyal audience something to look forward to with a chance to escape to Italy” said Elysia Zeccola, Festival Director. “Nothing compares to the big screen experience and that special feeling of a shared emotional connection.”


Other highlights from the 2020 Festival programme include:

Marco Bellocchio’s multi award-winning crime drama THE TRAITOR (Il traditore), which was the big winner at Italy’s 65th David di Donatello Awards – the country’s equivalent of the Oscars. The Centrepiece selection for the 2020 programme, the absorbing film sees Pierfrancesco Favino deliver a powerhouse performance as Tommaso Buscetta, a Sicilian Mafia boss-turned-police informer.

There will also be Special Presentations of Ferzan Ozpetek’s award-winning new film THE GODDESS OF FORTUNE (La dea fortuna), which explores long-term relationships that change over time and features an all-star cast including Stefano Accorsi, Edoardo Leo and Jasmine Trinca; and Venice Film Festival Best Actor winner MARTIN EDEN from acclaimed writer/director Pietro Marcello. The award-winning drama provocatively transports Jack London’s 1909 novel about a self-taught and outspoken writer (Luca Marinelli) to a pivotal moment in Italy’s pre-war history.

Plus, audiences can escape to an Italian summer in comic trio Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo’s hilarious tale of friendship I HATE SUMMER (Odio l’estate), in which three families accidentally book the same holiday rental.


The Italian Film Festival presented by Palace screens in the following locations:

Sydney: 29 Sept – 18 Oct, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinemas, Palace Central

Melbourne: *TBA, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Kino Cinemas, The Astor Theatre

Canberra: 1 Oct – 18 Oct, Palace Electric Cinemas

Brisbane: 1 Oct – 18 Oct, Palace Barracks and Palace James Street

Adelaide: 29 Sept – 13 Oct, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas

Perth: 1 Oct – 14 Oct, Palace Raine Square, Luna on SX and Leederville

Byron Bay: 2 Oct – 14 Oct, Palace Byron Bay

* Although we cannot confidently confirm it will be possible to present the 2020 Italian Film Festival in Melbourne from late September, as soon as cinemas can safely reopen the Festival dates for the city will be confirmed.

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