St Ali Italian Film Festival 2022

After a long wait between screenings, the St Ali Italian Film Festival is back for 2022. To prove the festival is bigger and better than ever, the Opening Night was a grand success.

Opening the festival, His Excellency Mr. Paolo Crudele, Ambassador of Italy to Australia. Filling the rows of seats were dignitaries right through to excited Italian cinema enthusiasts. Everyone wearing their Sunday best came out to enjoy a glass of Prosecco and nibble on some authentic Italian cuisine. But most importantly everyone was ready for some wonderful Italian Film. 

To open the festival was Belli Ciao. A delightful comedy poking fun at the differences between those living in the north and those living in the south. Written and also starring the exceptional comedic duo Pio D’Antini and Amedeo Grieco had the audience in fits of laughter.

Belli Ciao opens with Pio and Amedeo holding a welcome back, intervention-style counselling session for the first busload of young people who have come back to the sleepy southern town from the big city life of the North.

It’s the big question for all young people fresh out of high school, stay and build a better tomorrow or move to the city to study and work and create a much better future for themselves? That is exactly what happened to Pio and Amedeo.

As they go around the circle sharing their stories, the attention goes to the moment Pio and Amedeo’s life’s changed. Hotshot banker Pio’s big successful life with an influencer girlfriend living in the big city in comparison to Amedeo, who stayed in their hometown. Amedeo didn’t quite follow his dream of becoming a doctor, but rather selling medical equipment. 

Amedeo was tasked with helping the city finance its rejuvenation and bring the youth back to town. While it had been years since the two had seen each other, fate had them meet again. Amedeo is sent to the bank Pio works for to ask for funding. This, in turn, sets the two on a hilarious journey to self-discovery and their true purpose in their hometown.

The film has a sense of a classic comedy. It knows exactly what it has set out to do, reminiscent of something from the 90s or early 2000s. It’s not only this familiar style of comedy everyone has come to love, it’s also the stunning location the film is set. The Italian backdrop makes for wonderful viewing.

As festival Director Elysia Zeccola mentioned at the opening night, Belli Ciao is just what is needed, a comedy that will have you laughing out loud.

But if a comedy isn’t for you, the festival has a wealth of options, including the drama, The Hummingbird. Direct from the world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, The Hummingbird follows the life of Marco Carrera (poet and President of The Peruvian Academy of Language) from childhood to adulthood and the myriad of relationships along the way.

There will be something for everyone covering all parts of Italy. The festival runs from September 13 to October 16 across the country, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Byron Bay. Head online for more details and to book your tickets.

For information and updates, please visit  on Facebook @ItalianFF and Instagram @ItalianFilmFest for all the latest news.

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