Italian cinema ain’t just mafia movies and OTT family dramas – just ask Italian Film Festival director Elysia Zeccola Hill, who gives us her top festival picks.

Scooping the Best New Director Award at the David di Donatello (Italian Academy) Awards, this opening night selection stars Alessandro Gassman and Laura Morante in the hilarious tale of an atheist father, floored by the news his son wants to become a priest. Disastro!

Matteo Garrone’s Godfather-esque drama about three brothers from a southern Italian crime family is a riveting morality tale told with gritty realism. It won Best Film and Best Director at the Venice Film Festival and David di Donatello Awards.

Black Souls.


An all-star cast shows the intense struggle of two wealthy brothers and their wives when their teenage children are involved in a shocking crime. This gripping adaptation of Herman Koch’s best-selling book,
I nostri ragazzi, won the Venice Film Festival Audience Award. Starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Barbora Bobu’lová, Alessandro Gassman and Luigi Lo Cascio.

The hit French farce What’s in a Name? is transposed to Italy while retaining its crowd-pleasing core. David di Donatello Award winners Alessandro Gassman and Micaela Ramazzotti play Paolo and Simona, a glamorous couple with a child on the way. They are invited to dinner by another couple (played by Valeria Golino and Luigi Lo Cascio) and a quirky musician friend (Rocco Papaleo), but things turn volatile when the pending child’s name is broached.

On the lighter side, Italian heart-throb Raoul Bova returns in this genuinely funny Italian comedy about a successful and talented female architect, Serena Bruno, who returns to work in Italy after years abroad, and finds it difficult to be taken seriously in her male-dominated field… that is, until she finds a male friend to pose as an architect and pitch her projects.

Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX, Sep 24-Oct 14.

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