L.A., ITALIA’S NEWEST AND HIGHEST HONOR WILL BE PRESENTED
DURING THE FESTIVAL’S OPENING NIGHT CEREMONIES ON FEBRUARY 17TH
Academy Award®-winning actor Al Pacino will be the recipient of the inaugural JACK VALENTI - L.A., ITALIA LEGEND AWARD, it was announced today by noted Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller, honorary chairman of the Istituto Capri nel Mondo, the governing body of the Los Angeles, Italia Ð Film, Fashion and Art Fest. Named in memory of longtime MPAA president Jack Valenti, it is the festival’s highest honor and it will be given annually to an outstanding Italian-American who has made major contributions to the global motion picture industry.
Valenti’s daughter Courtenay, executive vice president of production for Warner Bros. Pictures, will present the award to Pacino on February 17th during the festival’s opening night ceremonies at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where the 8th edition of L.A., Italia will take place from February 17th through the 23rd, the week preceding the Oscars®. The festival is produced by founder Pascal Vicedomini and chaired by Italian-American talent manager and film executive Rick Nicita, with producer Martha De Laurentiis serving as president and producer Mark Canton serving as honorary chair. Madalina Ghenea, the Italian-Romanian supermodel and actress, will be Mistress of Ceremonies.
Known for his forceful dramatic presentation, Al Pacino is most closely associated with the roles of Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, as well as Tony Montana of the legendary gangster film Scarface. However, it was his performance as Frank Slade, a blind, retired Lt. Colonel, in Scent of a Woman that won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1993 and a supporting actor nomination in the same year for Glengarry Glen Ross. This came after seven previous Oscar nominations for The Godfather (1973), Serpico (1974), The Godfather: Part II (1975), Dog Day Afternoon (1976), And Justice For All (1980) and Dick Tracy (1990). Amongst his other awards are five Golden Globes, including the HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award (2001), the American Cinematheque Award (2005) and the American Film Institute’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
“One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies,” said Lina Wertmuller in making the announcement. “His commitment to acting as a profession and his constant screen dominance has established him as one of the movies' true legends. There is no one in the world more suitable and deserving to receive the first Jack Valenti Ð L.A., Italia Legend Award.”
Festival chair Rick Nicita added: "The L.A., Italia Festival is twice blessed to have the honor of establishing the annual Jack Valenti award, and having an actor of the acclaim and artistry of Al Pacino accept it."
“Presenting the inaugural Jack Valenti – L.A., Italia Legend Award to Al Pacino is perfect for our festival given that its central mission is to honor the cinematic greats from both the U.S. and Italy,” said honorary chair Mark Canton.
L.A., Italia 2013 will feature screenings of approximately 40 of the most acclaimed Italian contemporary movies, documentaries and video-concert performances, along with photographic exhibitions and conferences and artistic moments rich with content that will promote excellence in Italy’s entertainment sector, fashion and tradition.
The Festival will include a tribute to director and producer Iginio Straffi, the creator of the phenomenal, highly popular animated characters Winx, as well as the upcoming movie “Gladiators of Rome 3D” which will be released in the USA later this year by Paramount. Italian music icon Zucchero will be feted at the Grammy Museum on February 21st and at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on the 22nd. Actor-director Michele Placido, who will have the US premiere of his recent thriller produced and shot in Frances Le Guetteur, will also be honored.
The official program will also include a celebration of the “Spaghetti Western” genre with the screening of several of the Italian films that inspired Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. It will be attended by actors Franco Nero (the original Django who has a cameo in Tarantino’s new movie), Giuliano Gemma (Arizona Colt) and some of the Italian and American actors who played gunmen in films helmed by visionary Italian directors back in the 70’s. There will also be conferences at the University of Southern California and the presentation of select first and second movies from young Italian filmmakers.
Other Italian artists attending are directors Fausto Brizzi (with Claudia Zanella, one of the leading actress of his latest movie Crazy For Me), Tony Trupia (Itaker), Andrea Zaccariello, as well as the actress Marta Gastini (Dracula 3D).
L.A., Italia 2013 officially launches the West Coast celebration of the Italian government’s “Year of Italian Culture in the USA” program. It is presented by the Istituto Capri nel Mondo in association with Eni, Rainbow Group and Cim Group, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Cinema Department of the Italian Ministry of Culture. Presenting partners also include the Italian General Consulate, the Italian Trade Commission, the Italian Institute of Culture in Los Angeles, TCL Chinese Theaters LLC, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the University of Southern California (USC), and Cinecittˆ Studios.