Lavazza Italian Film Festival opens for 17th year

The 17th edition of the Lavazza Italian Film Festival (LIFF), driven by Fiat, has officially opened.

Celebrating Italian-produced cinematography, this year’s event takes place from 13 – 21 September across the country.

An exciting program of 30 films, all hand-picked by event organiser, Palace Cinemas features everything from comedy and romance, to dramas and thrillers.

After opening LIFF in Sydney on Tuesday, Australian actor Natasha Liu Bordizzo walked the red carpet at The Astor Theatre in Melbourne last night and officially launched the Festival to Melbourne media and VIP guests.

In her opening address, Natasha spoke about the event’s importance to the Australian-Italian community. The 22-year old deferred a law degree in 2014 to pursue her work in film when she secured the lead role of Snow Vase in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon – The Green legend. Lavazza says Natasha is the perfect fit for LIFF 2016, through her acting roots and Italian heritage on her father’s side.

The festival kicked off nationally with Paolo Genovese’s drama Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers) selected for each of the opening night events. An Australian premiere, it tells the story of seven friends at a dinner party who decide to share the content of every message, email and phone call they receive throughout the night – revealing far more secrets than expected.

Guests to the opening night were treated to Bandini Prosecco on arrival and an after party following the screening, featuring an affogato bar courtesy of Lavazza, and appetizers thanks to D.O.C.

This year, films will be showcased at 16 Palace Cinema locations across Australia, with around 900 screenings shown in seven cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Hobart.

The festival will also host a world premiere of the first Australian-Italian co-production, The Space Between, by Melbourne filmmaker Ruth Borgobello. In each city, the 17th Lavazza Italian Film Festival will come to a close with a special closing night screening of the restored classic Roman Holiday (1953), starring Audrey Hepburn.

For a full list of festival film, visit

New South Wales
Tuesday 13 September – Sunday 9 October
Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona and Chauvel Cinema

Thursday 15 September – Sunday 9 October
The Astor Theatre, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Westgarth, Palace Brighton Bay and Kino Cinemas

South Australia
Thursday 22 September – Wednesday 12 October
Palace Nova Eastend Cinema

Tuesday 20 September – Wednesday 12 October
Palace Electric

Western Australia
Thursday 22 September – Wednesday 12 October
Cinema Paradiso and Luna on SX

Wednesday 28 September – Wednesday 19 October
Palace Barracks and Palace Centro

Wednesday 14 September – Wednesday 21 September
State Cinema

Image credit: Lavazza and Jim Lee.

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