The Capri Hollywood International Film Festival is honoring Mel Gibson with its Director Of The Year Award, in recognition of his pacifist WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge. Producer Bill Mechanic, who was already named by the festival as its Producer Of The Year, is accepting the prize on Gibson’s behalf. Hacksaw had its world premiere to great acclaim at the Venice Film Festival this past September and has become a force during awards season.
The story of real-life conscientious objector Desmond T Doss (Andrew Garfield), who saved the lives of 75 men during the battle of Okinawa without ever carrying a gun, the movie crossed the $100M mark at the global box office in mid-December. It is also experiencing a very strong run in China where it’s at nearly $50M through this past weekend.
Among its accolades, Hacksaw won the AFI Movie of the Year Award; swept the Australian Film Academy’s prizes this month; has three Golden Globe nominations and two SAG noms.
Mechanic says, “It took me 15 years to make this movie. Mel will be very happy to receive this award. I always thought he was perfect for this movie, but he only accepted the ask on my third request! It was very important to make this movie.”
The son of one of Doss’ fellow veterans of Okinawa recently shared this tribute to the film with Deadline.
The film screens in Capri, which is currently running, and releases in Italy on February 9 via Leone Film Group and Eagles Pictures.
Lionsgate has the film domestically. Principal financiers were Cross Creek, Demarest Films and IM Global. Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight wrote the script.