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Twenty four years ago after realising that Australia had many film festivals, but nothing dedicated to Italian cinema Antonio Zeccola, owner of Palace Cinemas, started The Italian Film Festival in November 2000 in Sydney and Melbourne.  It was a resounding success.

Fast forward to 2023 and Australia’s annual celebration of Italy’s best and brightest on the big screen will be opening in Byron Bay at the Palace Cinema, Jonson Street on 28 September and running until 18 October.

Opening  with The Last Night of Amore, get ready to be treated to a taut, stylish crime thriller set in the streets of Milan. Making its Australian premiere after a successful stint at the Italian box office, writer/director Andrea Di Stefano’s police flick stars Pierfrancesco Favino (The Hummingbird) and tells of an about-to-retire honest cop facing a chaotic, crime-riddled, corruption-fuelled situation.

Also among the event’s spotlight flicks, Kidnapped sits in the centrepiece slot, recreating the tale of the Vatican’s abduction of a young Jewish boy in the 19th century, plus as the scandal that unsurprisingly followed. As part of a focus on actor, filmmaker and screenwriter Massimo Troisi, 1994’s The Postman, the talent’s two-time Oscar-nominated final film, will close out the fest with a 50s-set whirlwind of love and friendship.

Organised exclusively by Palace, the festival continues to present the best new contemporary Italian cinema and most cherished classics on the big screen. For more than two decades the Festival has celebrated Italian language, culture and la dolce vita with an ever-growing audience.



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