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Italian Director Carlo Mazzacurati Dies at 57

Carlo Mazzacurati - P 2014
AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis
Carlo Mazzacurati

The director had films screen in competition in Locarno, Rome and Venice and was probably best known for 1994's "Il Toro," which won Venice's prize for best director.

ROME – The Italian cinema industry was in mourning Thursday after the death of 57-year-old Carlo Mazzacurati, the director whose films screened in competition in Locarno, Rome and Venice and whose 1994 comedy about two friends who try to steal and sell a bull, Il Toro, won Venice’s prestigious Silver Lion for best director.

Mazzacurati died late Wednesday in his birth city of Padua, near Venice, following a long illness. Details were not made available.

He directed nearly 20 films, but no feature films since another comedy, 2010's The Passion (La passione), which also screened in competition in Venice.

All told, Mazzacurati had four films in competition in Venice and one each in Locarno and in Rome, where his participation in the 2007 edition of the festival with The Right Distance (La giusta distanza) helped bolster the prestige of the event, then in only its second year.

Mazzacurati was also nominated for a total of ten David di Donatello and Silver Ribbon (Nastri d’Argento) honors -- Italy’s two most prestigious film awards -- winning two, including a Silver Ribbon nod as best emerging director for Notte Italiana, his 1987 feature film debut as a director. The film was made in collaboration with acclaimed director Nanni Moretti as co-producer.

Mazzacurati is also credited with discovering Antonio Albanese, a former comic, as an actor. Albanese was last seen in international circles in the lead role of Gianni Amelio’s The Intrepid (L’intrepido), which competed for Venice’s Golden Lion last year.

Twitter: @EricJLyman