The Italian Film Festival is almost upon us! With special events around the country (and a World Premiere!) – here’s a few picks that might just help you sort out your IFF 2019 schedule!

The Champion

The Opening Night flick, the excesses and that lavished upon European pro-athletes are no secret, with star Italian striker Christian Ferro (Andrea Carpenzano) forced to confront his lifestyle and choices if he’s going to maintain his status on the soccer field.

Bertolucci Retrospective

Having passed away last year, the Bernardo Bertolucci retrospective will be the highlight for a lot of seasoned film fans, with IFF2019 showcasing restored versions of the Director’s 1970s breakthroughs The Conformist and five hour-plus epic 1900 (the full length version), starring Robert De Niro and Gerard Depardieu.


Set in Rome’s multicultural Torpignattara neighbourhood, Bangla focuses on Bangladeshi-Italian Phaim (played by Director Phaim Bhuiyan) and his burgeoning romance with local Asia (Carlotta Antonelli) while being forced to contend with his own religious beliefs. Apparently opposites, with the latter hilariously intent on intruding on the demarcated lines at the art gallery he’s tasked with guarding there’s a great charm to this evidently autobiographical comedy.

The Armadillo’s Prophecy

Based on the bestselling graphic novel, Zero (Simone Liberati) is soon, of course, confronted with his conscience in the form of an armadillo. Dwelling together on the state of being and life itself, Friends fans may fondly recall Ross’ own Holiday Armadillo and while this may never reach those heights there’s still a lot of promise.

The Legend of The Christmas Witch

The Festival’s folklore fixture, local teacher Paola (Paola Cortellesi) at night becomes La Befana the Christmas Witch. Her go-to bad guy; an evil toymaker who never got the gift he so desired from our lead so long ago. With her pupils to the rescue and shades of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang this might just be the pick for the kids.

The Italian Film Festival screens in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Byron and Hobart between September 17 and October 23

on Falkenscreen