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Special Presentation
Burning Hearts
Australian Premiere

Burning Hearts

Ti mangio il cuore

Inspired by the investigative novel by journalists Carlo Bonini and Giuliano Foschini, this mafioso-western, modern-day Romeo and Juliet is a cinematic tale of love and death, cruelty and passion in a land of irresistible beauty. 

A forbidden love between Andrea (Francesco Patanè), the reluctant heir of the Malatesta family, and Marilena (singer Elodie making her acting debut), the beautiful wife of the Camporeale boss rekindles an old feud between two rival families. 

In an ancient land, their fatal passion sets the two clans at war again, where according to the ruthless codes of the local mafia, only blood can wash out blood. Marilena, now banished by the Camporeale clan and prisoner of the Malatesta family, is reviled and punished, and needs to draw on all her strength to overcome her destiny. 

Burnt equally by the sun as by enmity, the promontory of Gargano in Puglia is the backdrop for Pippo Mezzapesa’s passionate crime drama Burning Hearts, an intense story of love and revenge.

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Blood feuds have rarely been so beguiling. After many years on the sidelines. Mezzapesa has arrived.
Eye For Film
2022 | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Romance | Italy
Cast: Elodie, Francesco Patanè, Michele Placido, Francesco Di Leva, Tommaso Ragno, Brenno Placido
Language: Italian with English subtitles
Pippo Mezzapesa


Born in 1980 in Puglia, Pippo Mezzapesa is a director, screenwriter and film producer. His first feature Annalisa (2011) and documentary Pinuccio Lovero – Yes I Can (2012) were selected in competition at the Rome International Film Festival. His previous feature My Own Good (2018) received two nominations at the Italian Golden Globe Awards.

Best Cinematography, Nastro D’Argento Awards 2023
Best Original Song, David di Donatello Awards 2023
Orizzonti, Venice Film Festival 2022