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Lee to receive Fiesole film prize

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CANNES -- Spike Lee will receive the 41st Fiesole Master of Film Prize during a July ceremony hosted by the village of Fiesole, outside Florence, amid speculation that an Italy-based project the award-winning director is planning could be at least in part be set in Tuscany.

The Fiesole prize -- sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Mediateca Regionale Toscana Film Commission -- has counted several top-notch directors among its honorees, including three-time Oscar nominee Arthur Penn, the late seven-time Oscar nominee Robert Altman, four-time Palme d'Or nominee Peter Greenway and double Oscar winner Bernardo Bertolucci.

The award is presented for overall contributions to the film industry rather than for a specific project.

"We are very pleased to be able to honor such an important and influential director," Stefania Ippoliti, director of the Mediateca Regionale Toscana Film Commission, said in an interview on the sidelines of a press briefing about Tuscan film promotion initiatives at the Festival de Cannes.

The prize will be awarded during the Estate Fiesolana event in Tuscany set for July 10-12.