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Monica Bellucci will receive the Special David Award 2021 at the 66th edition of the David di Donatello Awards. In the words of Piera Detassis, President and Artistic Director of the Italian Film Academy: “A stellar yet wise career, moving from the Italian comedy and then valued by great directors like Francis Ford Coppola and Giuseppe Tornatore, who turn her into an international star, also thanks to the support of French cinema. This special award celebrates her unique beauty but even more so her will to dare and provoke, as in the case of Irréversible, working alternatively with established and new innovative directors, often opting for the auteur gaze: from the Wachowski sisters to Virzì, from Sam Mendes to Maria Sole Tognazzi, from Terry Gilliam to Kusturica, from Claude Lelouch to Kaouther Ben Hania. Bellucci embodies the rare capacity of being a global icon, without losing sight of the creative work and the artistic community. Charismatic, cosmopolitan, and deeply Italian.”

The actress comments: “I wish to thank the Italian Film Academy and President Piera Detassis for this David Award. Receiving this recognition fills me with emotion because I have a huge respect for our cinema which has always been and still is a source of inspiration for cinema all over the world. Although my career took me to meet different cultures and artistic experiences, in my heart I am always and only Italian.”

In an interview with Variety, Detassis states that the first signals from the reopening of cinemas “though necessarily limited, are strong. After a year-and-a-half of [mostly] closure, they prove that people still want to see movies in cinemas. There is less fear; the vaccinations have provided an acceleration. My only wish is that more new Italian movies will soon be out in cinemas. My only regret is that [new] Italian cinema, which is crucial for Italy’s identity and for the industry’s solidity, is hesitating to come out onto the big screen. I hope the Davids can provide a boost for this.”

Detassis pointed out how in 66 years a woman has never won the David for best director: “We are working on improving the juries, which will also improve naturally as our members get younger. Italy is way behind on this. Nothing bores Italians more than this topic. I realize this every time I talk about it. So I am counting on new generations. Someone suggested introducing a prize for best female director, which I refused. But I must say there is great concern and sensitivity on this issue on the part of male directors. Changes we have already made to the juries’ makeup have led to two women being nominated for best director, two for best film, two for best first feature and two for best doc. For Italy that’s not bad.”

Ragarding the award ceremony, “The first thing I made clear to RAI is that I wanted all [nominated] categories to be physically present. This wasn’t possible [in one venue] in terms of space [due to social distancing] so we decided to have two locations that could visually interact with each other [on TV]. We are holding the Davids at the Fabrizio Frizzi TV studios in Rome’s Teatro Dell’Opera [opera house] where we will use the box seats. It’s symbolic, in that we are uniting the worlds of film, TV and live entertainment on RAI in primetime, having won the battle to keep this slot. The support we’ve been able to get from RAI is crucial.”


 

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