Italy's prestigious St. Vincent Prize for Italian cinema, scheduled to be held this week, has been postponed due to the heavy flooding that has swamped north-western Italy in the last couple of weeks.

Felice Laudadio, director of the Valle d'Aosta-based St. Vincent festival, said it would be "inopportune" to hold the event. Instead, the 42nd edition of the festival will be held from December 11-16.

"We took this decision in view of the immense tragedy that has struck northern Italy and in particular the Valle d'Aosta, where there have been numerous deaths, hundreds of wounded and thousands made homeless," said Laudadio, who is also president of Cinecitta Holding and director of the Taormina film festival.

Films competing for St. Vincent's prestigious Grolla d'oro prize include:

I Cento Passi (Marco Tullio Giordana)
La Lingua Del Santo (Carlo Mazzacurati)
Il Partigiano Johnny (Guido Chiesa)
Sud Side Stori (Roberta Torre)
Denti (Gabriele Salvatores)
Qui Non E' Il Paradiso (Gianluca Tavarelli)
Il Manoscritto Del Principe (Roberto Ando)
Sangue Vivo (Edoardo Winspeare)
Lontano In Fondo Agli Occhi (Giuseppe Rocca)
La Seconda Ombra (Silvano Agosti)
Il Mnemonista (Paolo Rosa)
Placido Rizzotto (Pasquale Scimeca)
Rosa E Cornelia (Giorgio Treves)
Gostanza Da Libbiano (Paolo Benvenuti)
Nella Terra Di Nessuno (Gianfranco Giagni)
Tutto L'Amore Che C'e (SergioRubini)

Laudadio said two more titles would be added to the competition list. Giuseppe Tornatore's highly-anticipated film Malena, which had been scheduled to premiere out-of-competition, will also be included.

"This festival is designed to promote Italian cinema abroad," said Laudadio. "It's an opportunity for foreign critics to see Italian films which they often do not have time to see at festivals such as Cannes or Venice."