Emanuele Crialese's immigration-themed film The Golden Door (Nuovomondo) (recently presented at the Tribeca Film Festival by Martin Scorsese) and Daniele Luchetti's Cannes Certain Regard contender My Brother is an Only Child trailed just behind with 11 nominations each.
All three titles received nominations in the principal categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Producer and Best Actor as well as art direction, costumes and editing. Tornatore's film was the only of the three to receive a nomination in the best actress category: newcomer Ksenia Rappoport learned Italian for the role.
Other highlights in the nominations this year are actor-turned-director Kim Rossi Stuart's Along the Ridge (Anche libero va bene), which received nominations both in the best film and best directorial debut category.
After his honorary career Oscar, Morricone looks like the candidate to beat in the best composer category.
Ferzan Ozpetek who in past years has been at the top of the nominations list has received seven nominations for his Saturn Opposite - all the nominations for that film are in acting, artistic and technical categories.
The nomination of Gabriele Muccino's The Pursuit of Happyness has officially put the Roman director in another class: his picture was nominated in the best Foreign Film category.
Winners will be announced June 14.