The 9th Annual Los Angeles, Italia – Film, Fashion and Art Fest comes to Hollywood and Highland on February 23rd through March 1st, Oscars® eve, with a star-studded array of Italian, Italian-American and international artists all scheduled to participate in the week long celebration showcasing the best of Italian culture. The Fest runs February 23rd to March 1st at the TLC Chinese 6 Theatres in the famed Hollywood & Highland complex.
Festival founder and producer Pascal Vicedomini announced today that among those to be honored are the Italian-American Oscar-winning writer-director David O. Russell, whose most recent film “American Hustle” received ten Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. He will be presented with the 2014 L.A. Italia Excellence Award as Filmmaker of the Year. The award presentation and film screening will be part of the festival’s opening night program.
Additional kudos go to iconic performers U2 and lead singer Bono, Academy Award ® nominated for their original song, Ordinary Love, from the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, in the Best Song of the Year category. Oscar® nominated writer/producer/co-star, Steve Coogan, will accept the Best Screenplay award for his film Philomena, nominated for 4 Academy Awards. Composer Alexandre Desplat will also be presented with the award for Best Score for his work in Philomena. Legendary soul singer, Tata Vega will accept L.A. Italia’s Best Documentary Film Award for the Oscar® nominated 20 Feet From Stardom.
“We’re so proud that the Hollywood filmmaking community considers L.A. Italia an important bridge between our two great countries,” says Vicedomini. “The caliber of stars and personalities that have come together to kick off our 2014 celebration is truly spectacular. We’re thrilled and honored to have all these great geniuses with us and look forward to facilitating many more collaborations between our two countries in the future.”
Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty,” Italy’s Oscar-nominated entry as Best Foreign Language Film, which won Golden Globe and BAFTA awards in that category will also screen opening night. The festival will include a tribute to Sorrentino and his longtime lead actor Toni Servillo with screenings of four of the six films they did together with collaborating producer Nicola Giuliano and Medusa, as well as other works created by the two Neapolitan artists. A special exhibit at the TLC Chinese Theatres of the costumes created by Daniela Ciancio for “The Great Beauty” will be among the fest’s highlights.
Other ‘Excellence Award’ honors being given that night go to famed Italian director Roberto Faenza (“Anita B.,” “The Days of Abandonment”) as well as beloved singer-songwriter and poet Francesco De Gregori, whose award will be presented following the screening of Stefano Pistolini’s docu-film "Broken Windows" (presented by Rai Cinema at the 2012 Venice Film Festival) and Niccolò Bello’s “Dress Rehearsal Backstage” which reveals behind the scenes secrets of the Italian music luminary. Choreographer Daniel Ezralow, a contributor to Italian culture who choreographed the opening night ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Olympics, will receive the festival’s ‘Friend of Italy’ awards.
Italian-American actor Joe Mantegna will chair this year’s festival with Lady Monika Bakardi as its president and producer Mark Canton serving as chairman of the Honorary Board which includes Italian producer Marina Cicogna, director Lina Wertmuller, actor Franco Nero, Italian music legend Tony Renis, writer Bobby Moresco (Oscar-winner for “Crash”) and Valerio Massimo Manfredi and Bulgarian producer Darina Pavlova among others. This year’s mistress of ceremonies is the Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis.
The festival will also include special a tribute to the late Italian playwright Eduardo De Filippo. Produced in collaboration with the Foundation dedicated to him, it will feature a post-war reel of the maestro in a monologue about the Marshall Plan along with a number of theatrical films and documentaries based on his comedies including the version of “Saturday, Sunday and Monday” directed by Paolo Sorrentino and starring Toni Servillo. A tribute to noted Italian actor Giuliano Gemma, who died last year at age 75, just months after being honored at L.A., Italia 2013 will also be presented.
Other festival supporters attending Sunday’s ceremonies to include actor Harry Lennix (NBC’s The Blacklist), actresses Margo Martindale (“August: Osage County”) Naomie Harrys (“Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”) and Jacqueline Bisset (“Dancing on the Edge”), director Antoine Fuqua (“Olympus Has Fallen”) among many others. This year’s delegation of Italian filmmakers includes directors Paolo Genovese, Francesco Patierno, Marco Simon Puccioni, Enzo D'Alò and Enrico Maria Artale; producers Marco Belardi, Andrea Iervolino and Marco Dell'Utri; and young prodigy Gianluca Minucci, actor Lorenzo Richelmy (“The Third Half”), actress Anita Kravos (“The Great Beauty”) and documentarian Marco Spagnoli.
Acknowledged by the media as one of the most exciting Italian film events in the world, since, 2006 L.A., Italia has been presented under the auspices of the Capri in the World Institute with the support of MIBAC (DG Cinema), Eni, ICE and Bank of the West and with the sponsorship of Medusa, Rainbow, EnigmaGB and Ambi Pictures. Sister film festivals including The Capri Hollywood Film Festival in December and The Ischia Film Festival in July are also under the domain of Vicedomini.
Additional L.A., Italia 2014 supporters include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Economic Development and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Organized with the participation of the Italian Consulate General, the Italian Trade Commission and the Los Angeles Italian Culture Institute, Cinecittà Studios, Luce Cinecittà, Italian Independent Productions and USC (University of Southern California).
For more information and a schedule of events visit Los Angeles, Italia online.