Photo: Mark Canton, Lello Esposito, Tony Renis, Sunny Pawar, Franco Nero, Harvey Weinstein and Mira Sorvino
ACCORDING TO THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
MEL GIBSON, LION CHILD STAR AND LA LA LAND SONG “CITY OF STARS” TO BE HONORED ON SUNDAY AT 12TH LA-ITALIA FILM FESTIVAL
Hollywood A-listers and Oscar nominees will be among those in attendance — as presenters, honorees, performers and special guests — at the opening ceremony of the 12thannual LA-Italia Film, Fashion & Art Fest on the evening of Sunday, February 19, 2017, festival founder/producer Pascal Vicedomini announced on Saturday.
Mel Gibson, a best director Oscar nominee for Hacksaw Ridge, will collect the fest’s Director of the Year Award. Sunny Pawar, the eight-year-old star of best picture Oscar nominee Lion, will be presented with the Child Performer of the Year Award. And the La La Land tune “City of Stars” — a best original song Oscar nominee with music by Justin Hurwitz and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — is being honored with the Song of the Year Award, to be accepted by Hurwitz, the only person to receive three Oscar nominations in 2017. (He’s also nominated for La La Land’s original score and another song from the film.)
The ceremony also will feature several surprise presenters and performers, and it will be followed by the world premiere of the new Italian movie No Country for Young Men (Rai Cinema), from acclaimed director Giovanni Veronesi, which centers around young Italians who leave Italy to live abroad.
Sunday kicks off an entire week of activities for LA-Italia, all of which will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. “The event honors Italian and American artists alike as part of an effort to build bridges between our two great countries,” Vicedomini said, adding, “The caliber of this year’s guests is a testament to how many people share this same goal.”
Programming highlights include a screening of Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea, an Italian film nominated for the best documentary feature Oscar; tributes to the late actor Marcello Mastroianni (including screenings of La Dolce Vita, Marriage—Italian Style and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow) and, to mark the centennial of his birth, the late singer/actor Dean Martin (including screenings of Ocean’s 11, Robin and the 7 Hoods and Rio Bravo); and, as the closing night film on Feb. 24, the world premiere of Taron Lexton’s In Search of Fellini (AMBI Pictures), after which the fest will presents its star Maria Bello with LA-Italia’s Friend of Italy Award and Rosi with LA-Italia’s Documentary of the Year Award.
This year’s fest will be chaired by music icons Mike Stoller and Corky Hale, with producer Mark Canton serving as honorary chair and producers/distributors Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi serving as co-presidents. It is presented by the Capri in the World Institute, with support from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (DG Cinema), ANICA, the Italian Trade Commission, SIAE, the National Italian American Foundation, AMBI Media Group, Rai Cinema, Mediaset Italia and ISAIA, as well as the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Consulate General in Los Angeles.
The event’s sister festivals are the Capri-Hollywood International Film Festival, which takes place each December, and the Ischia Global Film & Music Festival, which takes place each July.