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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Italian awards honour war epic
Exuberant director Roberto Benigni and TV presenter Milly Carlucci
Exuberant director Roberto Benigni was at the awards
Powerful 16th Century war epic A Profession Of Arms has swept the board at the David di Donatello awards - Italy's top film awards.

The movie, from respected director Ermanno Olmi, won nine trophies at Wednesday's Rome ceremony, including best film, best director and best screenplay, reported Screen Daily.

Its success left its closest rivals Light of My Eyes and Burning In The Wind far behind.

Light of My Eyes won best sound but Burning in the Wind ended up empty-handed at the annual event, which also saw a performance from Liza Minnelli, who won a special career trophy.

A Profession of Arms is set in Olmi's native Italian region of Padana.

I'd like to say to Italians, be proud of your cinema

Ermanno Olmi, director

It tells the story of Giovanni De Medici, a young brave captain in the war of Charles V against the Pope.

Olmi, who has been making movies since the 1950s, addressed the audience at the awards ceremony and made a plea for support for local films.

"I would like to dedicate this prize to Italian spectators. I would like Italian spectators to love Italian cinema," Olmi said.

"When we see box office figures which show US films at the top and Italian films way down the list, I'd like to say to Italians, be proud of your cinema."

Career awards

Awards were handed out in 16 categories and among the other big winners was Giancarlo Giannini for his portrayal of a man suffering from Downs Syndrome in Ti Voglio Bene Eugenio.

Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli performed and received a gong

The best actress trophy went to Marina Confalone for her part in the comedy Incantesimo Napoletano.

Stefania Sandrelli won best supporting actress for Figli-Hijos, while the best supporting actor award went to Libero De Rienzo for Santa Maradona.

The film's director Marco Ponti also won the best emerging director prize.

Meanwhile, the gong for best foreign film went to the Coen Brothers' thriller The Man Who Wasn't There, starring Billy Bob Thornton.

Career awards went to director Franco Zeffirelli and ET creator Carlo Rambaldi.

Other celebrity appearances came from former James Bond star Roger Moore and the Oscar-winning director Roberto Benigni.


Full coverage of this year's awards season Gong time
Full coverage of this year's awards season
See also:

25 Mar 02 | Oscars 2002
03 Mar 02 | Entertainment
24 Feb 02 | Entertainment
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