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Sourced from the Cannes, Berlin, Rome and Venice Film Festivals, this year’s anniversary festival also showcases highlights from its previous editions, personally selected by festival director Antonio Zeccola – like closing night film, La Dolce Vita. Andrew L. Urban reports.

"Film making in Italy draws today on a new wave of creativity, with a young generation of directors and actors, whose names are becoming internationally well known," said H.E. Gian Ludovico de Martino di Montegiordano, Italian Ambassador to Australia.


Highlights include the Cannes competition entry and opening film, Vincere from Marco Bellochio, this year's box office champion Many Kisses Later (Molti Baci Dopo), Marco Risi's acclaimed debut Fortapàsc, Pupi Avati's acclaimed Giovanna's Father (Il papà di Giovanna) and Ferzan Oztepek's A Perfect Day (Un giorno perfetto).

"a fascinating and stylish drama"

Vincere is a fascinating and stylish drama based on the little known story of Benito Mussolini’s first wife. Ida Dalsar (Giovanno Mezzogiorno) and Mussolini (Filippo Timi) begin their liaison in 1914; she is a well-to-do beauty salon owner and he is an impoverished young Socialist and union activist. When Ida sells all her possessions to fund her lover's new newspaper, the rise of Fascism is set into play…

Also fact-based, Marco Risi's Fortàpasc re-creates the last four months in the life of 26-year-old journalist Giancarlo Siani, the period in which he begins an investigation into the connection between local government and the Naples mafia. Giancarlo (Libero De Rienzo) is an idealistic adjunct reporter attached to the Neapolitan suburb of Torre Annunziata. His dream is to become a fully accredited journalist, but editor Sasa (Ernesto Mahieux) isn't interested in investigative stories. When Giancarlo stumbles upon a conversation between local kingpin Valentino Gionta (Massimiliano Gallo) and big boss Carmine Alfieri (Gigio Morra), he seizes the chance to write a real exposé. With the enthusiasm and courage of youth, Giancarlo plunges into the criminal world arousing the deadly anger of the mob.

"treats her like a princess"

In Pupi Avati’s Giovanna’s Father, a protective father besotted by his daughter treats her like a princess, only to discover she’s not the shy girl he thought. In Bologna, 1938, Michele Casali (Silvio Orlando) is an artist and a teacher at his teenage daughter Giovanna’s (Alba Rohrwacher) school. Giovanna is a shy and insecure teenage girl who doesn’t fit in at school, so her father does his best to help her - even by using the little authority he has as a teacher to favour a handsome male student (Antonio Pisu) only because he’s the first boy to pay Giovanna any attention.

"irreversibly connected"

Ferzan Oztepek’s A Perfect Day captures the 24 hours before the lives of a group of people are irreversibly connected. Antonio (Valerio Mastandrea) is a bodyguard. He refuses to accept that his marriage to Emma (Isabella Ferrari) is over. Their two children Valentina (Nicole Murgia) and Kevin (Gabriele Paolino) welcome reconciliation but Emma knows this can never be. Meanwhile, his boss, MP Fioravanti (Valerio Binasco), tries frantically to salvage his political career, unaware that he is destroying his personal life. And Mara (Monica Guerritore), a lonely and complicated professor re-discovers her long lost love. Ferrari won the Best Actress Award at Venice 2008 for her performance.

Published September 10, 2009

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Giovanna’s Father

A Perfect Day

Festival dates & venues:
Melbourne Sept 16 - Oct 5
Palace Cinema Como
Palace Balwyn
Kino Cinemas
Palace Westgarth

Sydney Sept 23 - Oct 12
Palace Norton Street
Palace Academy Twin
Palace Verona

Brisbane Sept 30 - Oct 18
Palace Centro
Palace Barracks

Adelaide Oct 4 - 28
Palace Nova Eastend

Perth Oct 15 - 28
Cinema Paradiso
Luna on SX

Canberra Oct 15 - 25

Arc Cinema

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