For the first time, the Lavazza Italian Film Festival is honoured to introduce the Bulgari Critics' Choice Award; a new prize to celebrate Italian contemporary cinema with an exceptional partner emblematic of Italian excellence; Bulgari. A union with an iconic Roman brand founded in 1884, strengthens the relationship between the Festival, the Italian capital city of cinema and La Dolce Vita.
The jury panel is composed of a selection of renowned cinema professionals and film critics from Australia and Italy, including an International guest star.
Six films are featured in the official competition section, chosen from the most acclaimed and outstanding Italian productions in the last year. These films will be premiering for the first time across Australia as part of the festival.
The winning film will receive a money prize of AUD$10,000 and a tailor designed award by Bulgari, to be presented during a special award ceremony on the 20th of September in Melbourne.
Films in competition
Ruth Borgobello is an award-winning filmmaker, whose short films have screened at Tribeca Film Festival and Interfilm Berlin. Ruth, most notably, created the very first official co-production between Italy and Australia with her 2016 debut feature The Space Between, which was an audience favourite at the Lavazza Italian Film Festival. She is currently working on her second feature film.
Jason Di Rosso
Jason Di Rosso is ABC Radio National’s host of the weekly film show The Final Cut. Jason has been an associate producer and reviewer on Movietime, and has a degree in communications from Perth’s Curtin University. Outside the ABC, his writing on film and popular culture has appeared in GQ magazine and The Australian.
Daniela Farinacci is an AFI Award nominated actor (Look Both Ways, Lantana), and award-winner (Lantana), boasting a distinguished career across Australian film, television and the stage, including Lion, Little Fish, My Year Without Sex, House Husbands and Glitch. She’s received Green Room nominations for her stage work including Yellow Moon and The Clean House.
Brad Harvey is the Bulgari Australia Managing Director, and brings a strong support of and eye for creativity and passion, having spent over 20 years in luxury jewellery. His passion for Italian design and cinema stems from his childhood interest in Italian culture and his extensive travels through Italy and Rome.
Italian-Australian actor Greta Scacchi has garnered an illustrious career, having won Emmy, AFI and Logie awards as well as being recognised with BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Thanks to her fluency in English, French, and Italian, Scacchi has come to occupy a unique place on the international stage, with distinguished roles across continents.
Damian Walshe-Howling is one of Australia’s most accomplished actors, with roles in The Secret Life of Us, Blue Heelers, Macbeth and Mystery Road. He garnered critical acclaim for his role in Underbelly and currently stars in Janet King. Damian is a fast rising filmmaker, with works headlining local and international film festivals.