This year will see the introduction of the Bulgari Critics’ Choice Award, a new prize to celebrate Italian contemporary cinema with an exceptional partner emblematic of Italian excellence: Bulgari.

Six films will feature in the competition and the jury will be composed of a range of actors, film critics and other figures united by their passion for Italian cinema.

Set to participate in the jury is festival ambassador Greta Scacchi, along with actors Daniela Farinacci and Damian Walshe-Howling, film critic Jason Di Rosso, director Ruth Borgobello and Bulgari Australia’s managing director, Brad Harvey.

The winning film will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and a tailor-designed award by Bulgari, to be presented during an official award ceremony on September 20 in Melbourne.

Festival founder Antonio Zeccola affirmed that the aim of the award is to reinforce the festival’s global status while continuing to celebrate Italian language, culture and cuisine.

Established in 2000, the Lavazza Italian Film Festival has continued to grow and become the largest festival of Italian cinema in the world outside the Belpaese itself.

This year’s event will run in Melbourne from September 14 to October 8, and across other cities on various dates.