Facing Windows by Ferzan Ozpetek was the big winner at this year's Donatello Awards, Italy's Oscars, scooping five awards including Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress.
The film, sold by Celluloid Dreams and produced by Tilde Corsi and Gianni Romoli's R&C Produzioni, is currently a major hit at the Italian box office where it has earned almost Euros 8m in seven weeks, outperforming stiff competition from the likes of Chicago, Die Another Day and 8 Mile.
Lead actress from Facing Windows Giovanna Mezzogiorno was voted best actress, while Andrea Guerra won the best music prize for the film's soundtrack.
Pupi Avati won the prestigious best director prize for Il Cuore Altrove, a film about a blind 35-year-old man who falls in love with a young girl.
"I made this film during what was a difficult time for me as a director. But thanks to this film, I have once again found a new closeness with this medium," said Avati, who was recently appointed president of Cinecitta Holding.
Competition for the awards had been the most fierce in recent years, with Facing Windows, Hour Of Religion, Remember Me and Il Cuore Altrove all vying for prizes in the main categories.
Gabriele Muccino's Remember Me was the only frontrunner to walk away empty-handed, despite being nominated in 10 categories.
References were repeatedly made to the success that Italian films are currently enjoying at the local box office. In addition to Facing Windows, Remember Me, Hour Of Religion and Il Cuore Altrove have all been audience hits.
Meanwhile, three Donatellos were awarded posthumously: to Danilo Donati, as best set designer and best costumes for Pinocchio, his last film, and Massimo Girotti who won the best actor prize for his swansong appearance in Facing Windows.
Domenico Procacci won the best producer prize for Respiro, Emanuele Crialese's internationally acclaimed picture set in the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. Procacci received two other nominations in the same category, for The Embalmer and Remember Me.
Another Procacci-produced film, Velocita Massima, earned its director Daniele Vicari the prize for best newcomer.
As previously announced, Roman Polanski was in town to receive the best foreign picture award for The Pianist. "I think the success of The Pianist is down to its subject-matter," the filmmaker said in Italian.
Other highlights of the awards, held in Rome's futuristic-looking music auditorium, included a live performance by Israeli singer Noa on music adapted from Nicola Piovani's Life Is Beautiful soundtrack, and a video message from Italian star Roberto Benigni.
The Donatello Awards
Facing Windows (La Finestra Di Fronte)
Pupi Avati (Il Cuore Altrove)
Massimo Girotti (Facing Windows)
Giovanna Mezzogiorno (Facing Windows)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ernesto Mahieux (The Embalmer)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Piera Degli Esposti (Hour Of Religion)
Cecilia Zanuso (El Alamein)
Andrea Giorgio Moser (El Alamein)
BEST NEW DIRECTOR
Daniele Vicari (Velocita massima)
BEST FOREIGN FILM
Domenico Procacci (Respiro)
Daniele Nannuzzi (El Alamein)
Andrea Guerra (Facing Windows)
BEST SET DESIGNER
Danilo Donati (Pinocchio)
BEST COSTUME DESIGNER
Danilo Donati (Pinocchio)
BEST SHORT FILM
Racconto Di Guerra, Mario Amaura
Rosso Fango, Paolo Ameli
DAVID SCHOOL PRIZE
No comments yet