Driven by Fiat, the Lavazza Italian Film Festival returns to Cinema Paradiso (Northbridge) and Luna on SX (Fremantle) from 22 September – 12 October, showcasing the very best in Italian cinema. In the Opening Night film PERFECT STRANGERS (Perfetti sconosciuti), seven friends at a dinner party decide to share the content of every message, email and phone call they receive over the night during which more secrets than expected are revealed. Director Paolo Genovese’s cunningly crafted drama hosts an all star cast including Alba Rohrwacher, Kasia Smutniak, Edoardo Leo, Giuseppe Battiston, Valerio Mastandrea and Marco Giallini. The festival is proud to host the world premiere of THE SPACE BETWEEN by Melbourne filmmaker Ruth Borgobello. The first Australian-Italian feature co-production is a cross-cultural romantic drama starring Flavio Parenti and Maeve Dermody and a true celebration of la dolce vita. The filmmaker will be present at a Q&A screening here in Perth on September 23rd at Cinema Paradiso. Taking the Centrepiece slot is veteran director Marco Bellocchio’s SWEET DREAMS (Fai bei sogni) straight from Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. The film adaptation of Massimo Gramellini’s best-seller Sweet Dreams, Little One, is headlined by Valerio Mastandrea and Bérénice Bejo. Other festival highlights include SOLO (Assolo) in which veteran Italian actress Laura Morante firmly cements herself as part of the New Wave of Italian Cinema with her Woody Allen style comedy which she writes, directs, and stars in. DADDY’S GIRL (Belli di papà) stars Diego Abatantuono in the hilarious role of a wealthy father who decides to teach his over privileged children a lesson by pretending his company has gone bankrupt! Carlo Lavagna’s stylish, tender debut feature ARIANNA featuring an award-winning performance from newcomer Ondina Quadri. The story of a 19-year-old girl’s belated coming-of-age in which gender and identity are explored. Matteo Rovere’s new film, ITALIAN RACE (Veloce come il vento) which is set in the world of motor racing and stars Stefano Accorsi like you’ve never seen him before. A young motor racing championess (played by new face Matilda De Angelis) and her disgraced brother (Accorsi), the adrenaline of high-speed races and a broken family are the ingredients of this film. Also straight from Cannes is FIORE, the story of a teenager discovering herself and finding love at a juvenile detention centre. Directed by Claudio Giovannesi, the movie showcases the luminous presence of newcomer Daphne Scoccia, who appears in every scene.