Several 2016 Oscar contenders including Lady Gaga & Diane Warren, and Ennio Morricone, will be honored next week at the 11th annual Italia Film Festival. The week-long pre-Oscars showcase of the best of Italian culture happens February 21-27 in Los Angeles at the TLC Chinese 6 Theatres.
Among the events featured in this year’s festival is the first-ever US retrospective of Italian Writer-Director Mario Martone. The tribute will showcase his Giacomo Leopardi biopic Il giovane favoloso, his adaptation of the mystery novel L’Amore Molesto by author Elena Ferrante, and the historical-drama We Believed, among others. Meanwhile, Best Original Score nominee Ennio Morricone will be honored with a homage in advance of the composer receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 26th, and the Documentary of the Year Award will go to Oscar-nominated Cartel Land from director Matthew Heineman.
In addition, Best Original Song nominees Lady Gaga and Diane Warren will be honored for their song “Til It Happens to You,” from the Kirby Dick-directed documentary The Hunting Ground. Gaga has of course been cutting a wide swath through Awards season, winning a Golden Globe and performing at the Super Bowl. She’s also scheduled to sing at the Oscars, while Warren will accept the duo’s Italia Film Festival honor.
The 2016 Italia Film Festival will feature the previously announced American premiere of Call Me Francesco, a biopic about Pope Francis, along with the American premieres of the Italian comedies L’abbiamo fatta grossa, Perfect Strangers, Belli di Papa and Loving Only You, as well as the American premiere The Coppoloni Stories. Other films to be screened include: the world premiere of Massimo Gaudioso’s An Almost Perfect Town, starring Silvio Orlando and Carlo Buccirosso; Carlo Carlei’s The Boudary, starring Caterina Shulha; Massimo Natale’s The Interpreter, starring Claudia Gerini; Francesco Cinquemani’s Andron, starring Alec Baldwin, Danny Glover and Leo Howard; and Raffaele Verzillo’s Breathless, starring Francesca Neri.
Among the Italian artists and filmmakers set to attend the festival are actors Franco Nero, Valentina Reggio, Denny Mendez and Catherina Shulha; directors Mario Martone, Paolo Genovese. Marco Ponti, Massimo Gaudioso, Francesco Cinquemani, Enrico Iannaccone and Massimo Natale; multi-Oscar nominated make-up artist Aldo Signoretti; costume-designer Carlo Poggioli, cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, screenwriter Andrea Purgatori; producers Fulvio Lucisano, Luigi De Laurentiis, Martha De Laurentiis, Andrea and Raffaella Leone, Marco Belardi, Giampietro Preziosa, Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino. LA-based Antonio Verde, Consul General of Italy and Dino Blandolino, Italian Trade Commissioner will also be on hand.
The 2016 Italia Film Festival is presented under the auspices of the Capri in the World Institute with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture, Heritage and Activities, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), SIAE, the Consul General of Italy/Los Angeles and the Italian Cultural Institute/Los Angeles. Oscar-winning writer Bobby Moresco is chairing, with Andrea Iervolino serving as president and Mark Canton serving as chairman of the Honorary Board, which includes producers Marina Cicogna and Lady Monika Bacardi, director Lina Wertmuller, actor Franco Nero, Italian music legend Tony Renis, and Valerio Massimo Manfredi.