In a surprise turn of events, Giovanni Veronesi's coming-of-age tale Che Ne Sara' Di Noi (literally, What Will Become Of Us) scored a massive 12 nominations for the David di Donatellos awards, Italy's most prestigious accolade - beating films from long-established directors such as Marco Bellocchio, Marco Tullio Giordana and Gabriele Salvatores.
Distributed and produced by Aurelio De Laurentiis's Filmauro, the Italian picture which was released just two weeks ago, won nominations in most of the main categories, including best film, best actor and best actress.
The picture was co-written by Veronesi and the film's 22-year-old star, Silvio Muccino, and has already grossed $2,426,374 on the back of a week-long barrage of publicity surrounding Muccino, until now best-known for his teenage roles in his older brother Gabriele's films.
Following closely behind in the nominationsis Marco Tullio Giordana's critically-acclaimed drama, The Best Of Youth, and Sergio Castellitto's newly-released film Don't Move, which both earned 11 nods.
Like Veronesi's film, Don't Move, which stars Penelope Cruz, has just had a killer opening at the box office, earning a huge $1,512,205 and the highest screen average ($7,820) of any picture during the weekend.
Distributed by Medusa, the Spanish-Italian co-production Don't Move was adapted by director-actor Sergio Castellitto from his wife Margaret Mazzantini's best-selling novel of the same name.
The picture is competing in the best film, best actor and best director categories. Cruz also earned a best actress nomination for her role which sees her undergo a Charlize Theron-style physical transformation.
Elsewhere, Silvio Soldini's new bittersweet comedy, Agatha And The Storm, won eight nominations, Marco Bellocchio's Buongiorno, Notte, earned seven nods and Matteo Garrone's First Love, Ermanno Olmi's Singing Behind The Screens and Gabriele Salvatore's I'm Not Scared, were all nominated in five categories.
The awards will be handed out in Rome on April 14.
Full list of nominees:
Che Ne Sara' Di Noi, Giovanni Veronesi
Don't Move, Sergio Castellitto
Buongiorno, Notte, Marco Bellocchio
The Best Of Youth, Marco Tullio Giordana
I'm Not Scared, Gabriele Salvatores
Sergio Castellitto (Don't Move)
Marco Bellocchio (Buongiorno, Notte)
Marco Tullio Giordana (The Best of Youth)
Pupi Avati (La Rivincita di Natale)
Matteo Garrone (First Love)
Best new Director
Piero Sanna (La Destinazione)
Salvatore Mereu (Three-Step Dance)
Andrea Manni (Il Fuggiasco)
Maria Sole Tognazzi (Passato Prossimo)
Francesco Patierno (Pater Familias)
Penelope Cruz (Don't Move)
Michela Cescon (First Love)
Licia Maglietta (Agatha And The Storm)
Violante Placido (Che Ne Sara Di Noi)
Maya Sansa (Buongiorno, Notte)
Sergio Castellitto (Don't Move)
Luigi Lo Cascio (The Best Of Youth)
Silvio Muccino (Che Ne Sara di Noi)
Carlo Verdone (Love Is Eternal For As Long As It Lasts)
Giuseppe Battiston (Agatha And The Storm)
Best supporting actress
Anna Maria Barbera (Il Paradiso all'Improvviso)
Margherita Buy (Caterina Va In Citta)
Claudia Gerini (Don't Move)
Jasmine Trinca (The Best Of Youth)
Giselda Volodi (Agatha And The Storm)
Best supporting actor
Diego Abatantuono (I'm Not Scared)
Elio Germano (Che Ne Sara Di Noi)
Fabrizio Gifuni (The Best Of Youth)
Roberto Herlizka (Buongiorno, Notte)
Emilio Solfrizzi (Agatha And The Storm)