Melbourne’s Italian Film Festival: Salvatore Maletesta’s top 5 picks

Sal Malatesta, ST. ALi
Salvatore Malatesta, founder of ST. ALi.

Locked down in Melbourne, coffee king Salvatore Malatesta has found a way to get a taste of Italy.

The founder of ST. ALi is throwing his caffeinated weight behind Melbourne’s Italian Film Festival, which launches at the Astor Theatre on Friday, 19 November.

“With these long lockdowns, the Italian Film Festival is the best way to experience la dolce vita,” Salvatore says, citing Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, Youth and Loro as among his favourite films. “I love Italy and love Italian films so to support the festival was always going to be a natural fit for me.”

These are Salvatore’s top festival picks, screening until 12 December at Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema, The Astor and Cinema Nova. Bookings here.

1. THE PREDATORS (I predatori)

Salvatore chose this award-winning black comedy as his top pick.

“Great screenplay and ensemble performance,” he says. “The Predators will be a biting, insightful and funny look at the many layers of culture in Rome.”

2. THREE PERFECT DAUGHTERS  (È per il tuo bene)

“As a dad with two daughters, the absurdity of this film makes it a perfect farce,” says Salvatore of this award-winning film. “I’m looking forward to having a laugh at the three father’s expense.”

3. TIGERS (Le Tigri)

Soccer. Tick. Milan, Tick. Salvatore had no choice on this one.

“Inter Milan is my team so this is a must!” says Salvatore.


This documentary delves into AI tech, inspired by the legendary director, Federico Fellini.

“I’m fascinated by the technology and AI built into this project,” says Salvatore. “I love Fellini of course, so very curious how his creative genius will be created.”


This heartwarming movie pays tribute to iconic movies like ET and The Goonies – perfect family viewing.

“Definitely watching this with my kids, especially my three-year-old daughter,” Salvatore says. “It has everything – courage, adventure, busting out!”


Melbourne’s Italian Film Festival: Salvatore Maletesta’s top 5 picks