To recognise the rich contemporary storytelling and excellent filmmaking talent of Italian cinema, last year’s Lavazza Italian Film Festival (LIFF) inaugurated the Bvlgari Critics' Choice Award - a cash prize from Palace Cinemas of AUD$10,000 and a custom-designed award by Bvlgari. This year marks the second edition of the Award and the successful partnership between LIFF and the iconic Roman brand.
LIFF is honoured to have a dedicated panel of experts including filmmakers, curators and journalists to assess the line-up of nominees this year. Each jury member brings a unique perspective and film background to the task.
Philippa Hawker is the film writer for The Australian. She was formerly a film reviewer and arts writer for The Age from 1997 to 2016, literary editor of The Sunday Herald and editor of the journal Cinema Papers, and taught at the School of Studies in Creative Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Gabriella Coslovich is an award-winning author and arts journalist who writes for publications including The Age, Good Weekend magazine, and Australian Financial Review Magazine. Her debut book of true crime, Whiteley On Trial, which centres on an Australian case of alleged art fraud, won the 2018 Walkley Award for arts journalism and has been shortlisted for a Ned Kelly Award and a Davitt Award.
Laura Napolitano has been the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Melbourne for the past nine months. After a training in Japanese studies and seven years in Kyoto, she enters the Italian diplomatic service as cultural attaché. From 2011 to 2017 she is Deputy Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris. A convinced cinephile, she loves American noir and the defeated heroes, and disdains the happy ending.
Lisa Camillo is an Italian-Australian director, writer and producer, who produces creative, unique, and meaningful documentaries for cinema and television. She's a passionate human rights-driven filmmaker and anthropologist (MA in International Development) who mixes European aesthetics with a strong and honest visual message. She is a natural and intuitive award-winning director with a strong cinematic vision, which beautifully matches feelings with visual imagery with a precise attention to details.
Magica Fossati is the executive producer of the SBS Italian program, which broadcasts daily and nationally on SBS Radio. Italian born and bred, Magica grew up in Turin and first came to Australia in 1997, loved the country and decided to move here in 2003. While radio is her passion, cinema was her first love as a child and then as a university student.
Roberta Ciabarra is a founding member of the Film Programs team at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. A graduate of the University of Melbourne with a degree in Cinema Studies and Literature, Roberta has curated retrospectives on Bernardo Bertolucci, Marco Bellocchio, Asia Argento, Claudia Cardinale and Dante Ferretti, among many others.
The six competing films form an exclusive snapshot of the finest contemporary Italian productions, ranging from critically acclaimed dramas through to gripping thrillers, delightful comedies and even one of the most anticipated political biopics to emerge in recent years. Don’t miss these must-see highlights. The winning film will be announced via social media on Tuesday, 2 October.
Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino returns to the big screen with this lavish look at media tycoon-turned-politician Silvio Berlusconi and those who surrounded him.
Winner of Best Actor at Cannes, the hugely compelling new crime thriller from Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah) is a based-on-fact tale of a gentle dog lover driven to take a stand against a local bully.
Winner of Best Original Screenplay at Cannes, Alice Rohrwacher’s enchanting third film is a magical realist fable of modern Italy, co-starring Alba Rohrwacher (Perfect Strangers).
A 17-time international award-winner including Best Film at the Italian Academy (David di Donatello) Awards, this hugely entertaining mafia musical follows a family of schemers whose latest plan is threatened by true love.
A young girl is torn between her adoptive mother (Valeria Golino) and her birth mother, (Alba Rohrwacher) in this acclaimed Sardinian-set drama from Laura Bispuri (Sworn Virgin).
Actor and director Valeria Golino (Rain Man), returns with a riveting drama about two brothers forced back into each other’s lives, starring Riccardo Scamarcio (Loro) and Valerio Mastandrea (Perfect Strangers).