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The 2017 David di Donatello Awards

Joelle Grosso (March 27, 2017)
Think of the David di Donatello as one of the most prestigious film award ceremonies of the year for Italy. Read on to find out what happened in the biggest night for contemporary Italian cinematography.

2017 marks the 61st edition of the David di Donatello, a glamorous award show organized by the esteemed Academy of Italian Cinema. The award is named after the famous bronze sculpture made by one of Italy’s most important early Renaissance artists, Donatello. The annual show celebrates the best of cinematic performances, production, and talent in the Italian film industry. This year’s festivities were hosted by television personality, Alessandro Cattelan, and featured a special musical performance by Manuel Agnelli, a singer whose successful career has spanned over the past 30 years.

A Star-Studded Evening

Aside from this special performance, there were some surprise guests and tributes as well as appearances from Italy’s biggest stars. The most popular personalities of Italian cinema took stage to present each category, announce the winners, and deliver the coveted statuette to only the most deserving artists. Some of the celebrities that were in attendance include Claudio Amendola, Valerio Aprea, Gabriella Pescucci, Luca Argentero, Alessandro Bertolazzi, Jasmine Trinca, Eva Riccobono, Giuseppe Tornatore, and Kasia Smutniak

Roberto Benigni, best known outside Italy for the Oscar-winning Holocaust comedy Life Is Beautiful, received a lifetime achievement Donatello award which he dedicated to his wife, actress Nicoletta Braschi. He also got a standing ovation and hailed Italian cinema to be the greatest in the world in his acceptance speech. 

The Nominees

Everyone was most excited to find out who won the best film category, the nominees included Indivisibili by Edoardo De Angelis, a movie about conjoined twin sisters who face a moral dilemma; Veloce come il vento by Matteo Rovere that is loosely based on the true story of rally racing driver, Carlo Capone; Fai bei sogni directed by Marco Bellocchio which is based on the novel Sweet Dreams, Little One by Massimo Gramellini; Fiore by Claudio Giovannesi, a love story that takes place in jail; and finally, La pazza gioia by Paolo Virzì which tells the story of two women with different backgrounds who become friends while being treated at a mental institution. Amongst the most anticipated categories was the battle for Best Actress, as both protagonists in the Virzì film, Micaela Ramazzotti and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, were nominated for the title.

La pazza gioia ended up being the biggest champion of the night, winning the awards for best film, best director, best set design, best hairstyling, and best actress, which went to Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Stefano Accorsi took the award for the best actor for his performance in Veloce come il vento.

Best foreign film award went to Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals, which also took home the Venice Film Festival's Silver Lion for best director last fall.

For those who are interested in seeing the award show, it can be found via online streaming on various websites. 





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