DEVASTATINGLY beautiful and multi-dimensional, there's one character you won't be able to miss during the 2013 Italian Film Festival.
With its breathtaking vistas, palaces, aqueducts and fountains, the landscapes of Italy play an uncredited but pivotal role in the several of the films in this year's program.
Acting Festival Director Genevieve Kelly said it was a coincidence that many of the works paid homage to the country's beauty.
"Sometimes there's a natural progression of a theme. Last year comedy was the dominate genre, this year we've noticed there's some beautiful vistas of Italy and in particular a romance with Rome," she said.
"It will make people fall in love with Italy if they haven't already. It's like being able to visit and experience the country without the cost of flying there."
The Italian Film Festival will be screening at Palace Electric Cinema Canberra from October 8 to November 3. The program includes more than 27 award-winning new features and documentaries.
The Festival features a range of genres in an effort to appeal to seasoned and novice Italian cinema goers with a mix of thrillers, dramas, romantic comedies and documentaries.
Miss Kelly said there's sincerity in Italian films that is not often found among mainstream movies.
"Italian cinema really reflects the culture and passion of the Italian community, their great sense of style and humour.
"It's a very authentic and realistic style of storytelling rather than the typical Hollywood ride. The comedic elements are charming rather than cheesy," she said.
The Italian Film Festival opening night will feature The Great Beauty (La Grand Bellezza) described as evocative of the style of filmmaking greats Rossellini and Fellini.
"It's about a 65-year-old journalist called Jep. He's a single man about town, living the highlife and going to Euro-trash parties. He is the coolest character about town," Miss Kelly said.
"His world is turned upside down when his first lover dies and her husband discovers she had been in love with Jep all her life.
"It a very epic journey and through it all you get to see the grandeur of the country. There's a sense of nostalgia, comedy and romance."
The Italian Film Festival focuses on contemporary works but organisers have made an exception and will finish the program with a screening of Fellini's Roma.
* For more information about ticket prices, film screenings and special events please visit www.italianfilmfestival.com.au.