Giuseppe Tornatore's noir film The Unknown picked up five top prizes at 51st edition of the David of Donatello awards, Italy's top film honors.

The Unknown received awards in five principal categories including best film, best director, best cinematography, as well as best music for Ennio Morricone's score as well as best actress kudos for newcomer Ksenia Rappoport who learned Italian for the role.

Cannes Un Certain Regard contender My Brother's An Only Child directed by Daniele Luchetti also took five awards including best actor for Elio Germano, best screenplay, best editing, best sound and best supporting actress ex aqueo (Angela Finocchiaro shares the prize with Ambra Angolini from Ferzan Ozpetek's Saturn Opposite).

Actor turned director Kim Rossi Stuart was honored with the debut director award for Along the Ridge while another first work - Salty Air directed by Alessandro Angelini won in the best producer category to Donatella Botti for Bianca Film and Rai Cinema. The film also garnered best supporting actor kudos for Giorgio Colangeli's performance.

Two of Italy's strongest exports were notably under rated by their own countrymen at this year's David awards after great success abroad: Emanuele Crialese and Gabriele Muccino.

Crialese's immigration themed film The Golden Door had received eleven David nominations yet only took prizes in best art direction, best costumes and best visual effects.

The film was Italy's candidate to the Oscars and Silver Revelation Lion winner at the Venice film festival last year. The film was noticed by Martin Scorsese whose 'presented by' title accompanies its US release. The Golden Door opened the San Francisco festival and played at Tribeca.

Gabriele Muccino's The Pursuit of Happyness - lost out in the best foreign film category to Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's Babel.

The Pursuit of Happyness opened at number one at the US box office last December - the first time an Italian director has accomplished this feat.

Best European Union film went to The Life of Others by Florian Henckel Von Donnermarck.