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Opening Night

Due to the delayed dates in Melbourne, Pinocchio will not be screening in the Festival but Melbourne audiences will still be able to see Pinocchio in cinemas during its theatrical release.

Pinocchio returns to the silver screen in a multi-award winning new live-action adaptation of the classic story of a wooden puppet who longs to become a real human boy.

In this faithful re-imagining of the 1883 iconic classic children’s tale by Carlo Collodi, director and co-writer Matteo Garrone (Dogman IFF18, Gomorrah 2008) creates a rich fantasy world of mystery and wonder, starring Oscar winner Roberto Benigni in the role of Geppetto and Federico Ielapi as the most famous puppet in history. Inspired by a visiting puppet show, the melancholy and poor Geppetto carves a puppet of his own and finds himself astonished when it suddenly comes to life. It’s the son he always wished for – Pinocchio. 

Embracing both the grotesqueness and sentimentality of the story, Garrone paints a realistic picture of the working class in feudal Tuscany, where poverty and hunger are features of rural life. Pinocchio’s world is simultaneously real and fantastic, featuring unforgettable characters, from the Cat (Rocco Papaleo, Basilicata Coast to Coast IFF11) and the Fox (Massimo Ceccherini) to the talking Cricket and puppet-master Mangiafuoco. 

A beautifully crafted gothic masterpiece, Pinocchio delivers a moral lesson with universal emotional resonance.

Garrone has a real gift for fantasy, his film is stunningly rendered, dilapidated yet dreamy and overflowing with eccentric, imaginative and disturbing details.
The List
Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Design, Best Make-Up, Best Hair Styling/Design, David di Donatello Awards 2020.
Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Sound, Guglielmo Biraghi Award - Special Mention, Nastri d’Argento Awards 2020.
Best Director, Best Cinematography, Golden Globes Italy 2020.
Australian Premiere
Fantasy, Drama | Italy | 2019 | 125 min
Italian with English subtitles
Matteo Garrone
Roberto Benigni, Federico Ielapi, Rocco Papaleo, Massimo Ceccherini, Marine Vacth


Matteo Garrone headshot

Matteo Garrone

Filmmaker Matteo Garrone was born in Rome in 1968, the son of a theatre critic and a photographer.  His films have received numerous awards, including Best Director at the European Film Awards and the David di Donatello Awards for Gomorrah (2008), and the Grand Prix at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for Reality (2012). His recent films Tale of Tales (2015) and Dogman (IFF 2018) were both nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.