Los Angeles-Italia Festival to Celebrate Vittorio Gassman Centennial

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Late great Italian actor Vittorio Gassman, who is best known to U.S. audiences as the star of classics such as “Big Deal on Madonna Street” and “Il Sorpasso” (“The Easy Life”), will be celebrated by the Los Angeles-Italia Film Fashion and Art Festival, which will run March 20-26 at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theater.

The annual pre-Oscars event comprising movies and music and celebrating showbiz ties between Italy and Hollywood, now at its 17th edition, will pay tribute to the centennial of Gassman’s birth with a mini-retro honoring the memory of the iconic thesp who, among other accolades, won the best actor prize at Cannes in 1975 for his performance as a blind man in Dino Risi’s ”Profumo di Donna,” later remade in English as ”Scent of a Woman” with Al Pacino.

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“We are honored and extremely pleased to pay a well-deserved tribute to an Italian genius whose talent and charm seduced the world over,” Oscar-winning Italian-American screenwriter and director Bobby Moresco (“Crash”) said in a statement. Moresco is a member of the fest’s board, which also includes producers Mark and Dorothy Canton, former AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Italy’s Marina Cicogna, Franco Nero, Tony Renis, Alessandro Bertolazzi, Dante Ferretti, and Francesca Lo Schiavo.

Founded and produced by Pascal Vicedomini, the L.A.-Italia fest is preceded by sister event Capri, Hollywood, which recently wrapped with a glitzy ceremony held on Jan. 3 in Naples’ 18th century Teatro San Carlo, Europe’s oldest opera house.

The Naples gala was attended by model and actor Mădălina Ghenea (“House of Gucci”), helmers Bille August and Paul Haggis, Israeli singer and human-rights activist Noa, who performed, and plenty of top Italian talents including a robust Neapolitan contingent comprising actors Toni Servillo and Teresa Saponangelo (“The Hand of God”) and director Mario Martone.

During Capri, Hollywood, Netflix films fared well with Naples-set “The Hand of God” by Paolo Sorrentino scoring the best director prize, while Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” was named best picture. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” based on a book by Neapolitan author Elena Ferrante, won the best non-original screenplay, a further testament to the artistic vibrancy of the Southern Italian port city that has become an Italian cinema hotbed.

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