Italian screenwriter Suso D'Amico will receive the inaugural Writers Guild Of America West's Jean Renoir Award for screenwriting achievement.

D'Amico is credited with writing more than 100 films including The Bicycle Thief, Rocco And His Brothers and Big Deal On Madonna Street.

The lifetime achievement award will be given on an occasional basis to honour screenwriters working outside the US and in other languages.

'Renoir was that rarest of beings, a great artist and a great teacher. And though Suso D'Amico has famously referred to herself as an artisan not an artist, may this award help disabuse her of that notion,' said screenwriter Robert Towne, who served on the Guild committee that established the international award. 'My heartfelt congratulations to Ms D'Amico.'

D'Amico will be feted along with other honourees at the 2009 Writers Guild Awards' West Coast ceremony on February 7.