Marco Tullio Giordana'ssix-hour epic The Best of Youthwon the lion's share of David di Donatello awards, Italy's most prestigiousfilm accolade, during a ceremony whose live broadcast on Rai-uno wasdramatically cut short by reports that one of four Italians currently heldhostage in Iraq has been killed.

Giordana's drama, whichchronicles the lives of two Italian brothers from the 1960s to the present day,beat out competition from Marco Bellocchio's Buongiorno Notte, Sergio Castellitto's Don't Move and Giovanni Veronesi's What Will Become Of Us to win six major awards, including best film, bestdirector and best screenplay.

Rome-born Sergio Castellittowon the best actor prize for his role in Don't Move, a drama which the actor-director adapted from his wifeMargaret Mazzantini's best-selling novel of the same name. Don't Move also saw Penelope Cruz win the best actress award.

The best supporting actorprize went to Roberto Herlitzka for his role in Buongiorno Notte, Bellocchio's drama about murdered politician AldoMoro, while Margherita Buy won best supporting actress for Paolo Virzi's comedyCaterina Goes To Town.

Best foreign film went toDenys Arcand's Barbarian Invasions,while Margarethe Von Trotte's Rosenstrasse and Lars Von Trier's Dogville jointly won best European film.

Theevening's biggest nominee, Veronesi's coming-of-age drama, What Will Becomeof Us, walked away empty-handed,failing to win any of its 12 nominations.

Guests on hand at theceremony, which was punctuated by comments referring to the ongoing conflict inIraq, included Steven Spielberg, actors Peter Falk and Anouk Aimee, and RobertoBenigni.

Rai eventually decided tointerrupt the live broadcast of the ceremony before most of the main awards,including best film, best actor, and best director, had been handed out,following unconfirmed Al Jazeera reports that one of four Italians held hostagein Iraq had been killed. The second half of the awards ceremony will bebroadcast next Saturday.

Full list of winners

Best film The Best ofYouth (Marco Tullio Giordana,director)
Best director Marco Tullio Giordana The Best of Youth
Best new director Salvatore Mereu ThreeStep Dance
Best screenplay Sandro Petraglia& Stefano Rulli The Best of Youth
Best producer Angelo Barbagallo TheBest of Youth
Best actress Penelope Cruz Don'tMove
Best actor Sergio Castellitto Don'tMove
Best supporting actress MargheritaBuy Caterina Goes to Town
Best supporting actor RobertoHerlitzka Buongiorno, Notte
Best cinematographer ItaloPetriccione I'm Not Scared
Best music Banda Osiris First Love
Best production designer LuigiMarchione Singing Behind the Screens
Best costume design FrancescaSartori Singing Behind The Screens
Best editor Roberto Missiroli TheBest of Youth
Best sound Fulgenzio Ceccon TheBest of Youth
Best special effects Ubik Visual Effects & Boss Film Singing Behind theScreens
Best European film (joint winners) Dogville (Lars von Trier, director) & Rosenstrasse (Margarethe von Trotta, director)
Best foreign film Barbarian Invasions, Denys Arcand
Best feature documentary Guerra PippoDelbono
Best short film (joint winners) Sole (Michele Carrillo, director), Zinana' (Pippo Mezzapesa, director)