ST. ALi Italian Film Festival 2023 – what to see

The ST. ALi Italian Film Festival is heading back to cinemas all over the country from September.

The ST. ALi Italian Film Festival has returned for 2023, bringing a selection of the latest and greatest in Italian cinema to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Byron Bay from 19 September.

Opening the festival this year is the drama The Last Night of Amore (L’ultima notte di Amore) led by Italian superstar Pierfrancesco Favino. The stylish Milan set thriller follows a police lieutenant (played by Favino) who is drawn into a web of crime and corruption on the eve of his retirement and was a major Italian box office hit.

Read: MIFF Play 2023: what to stream before the festival ends

The first of two Special Presentations to be announced is the searing, intense crime story of love and revenge Burning Hearts (Ti mangio il cuore). Set in Puglia and shot in stunning black and white, the film features singer Elodie in her first acting role. 

Festival Special Presentation Caravaggio’s Shadow (L’ombra di Caravaggio), is an historical drama from writer/director Michele Placido, starring Riccardo Scamarcio and Isabelle Huppert. It explores the struggles of the notorious and brilliant Renaissance painter as he is investigated by the Vatican.

Other highlights include A Brighter Tomorrow (Il sol dell’avvenire), the latest offering from Nanni Moretti, which arrives direct from the Cannes Film Festival where it screened in Competition. Moretti’s new film is a meta-comedy in which a movie director struggles with his family, art and culture.

Starring Toni Servillo, Strangeness (La stranezza) was the Film of the Year at the 2023 Nastro d’Argento Awards and a top box office performer in Italy. Inspired by true events, it follows legendary playwright Luigi Pirandello on a trip to Sicily in the 1920s where he meets a pair of amateur actors – a meeting which brings great surprises.

The 2023 ST. ALi Italian Film Festival presented by Palace screens in the following locations:

  • Sydney  • 19 September–18 October  • Palace Central, Palace Norton St, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema
  • Canberra  • 20 September–18 October  • Palace Electric Cinema
  • Adelaide  •  20 September–15 October  • Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas 
  • Melbourne  •  21 September–18 October  • Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema, The Astor Theatre, Cinema Nova 
  • Brisbane  • 27 September–25 October  • Palace Barracks, Palace James Street
  • Perth  • 28 September–25 October  • Palace Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema 
  • Byron Bay  •  28 September–18 October  • Palace Byron Bay 

The full Festival programme will be announced and tickets  on sale on Thursday 24 August. Visit the Italian Film Festival website for more information.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports