Bernardo Bertolucci's 'Me and You' Named Film of Year by Italy's Oldest Film Awards

Cannes Me and You Io e Te Film Still - H 2012

Cannes Me and You Io e Te Film Still - H 2012

The honor from Italy's oldest film awards is the first major prize for the film, which will have its U.S. premiere May 5 at the San Francisco Film Fest.

ROME – Io e te (Me and You), a drama about an introverted teenager from two-time Oscar winning director Bernardo Bertolucci, has been selected as the film of the year by Italy’s Nastri d’Argento (Silver Ribbons) honors.

VIDEO: Bernardo Bertolucci on 'Me and You'

The film premiered a year ago, out of competition, in Cannes and has since made its rounds to mixed reviews on the festival circuit -- The Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney called the film “an intimate wisp of youthful unease that’s disappointingly low on resonance” -- and it made a limited splash commercially in Italy. It will screen in the U.S. for the first time next month at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

STORY: 'Me and You' Director Bernardo Bertolucci on Working With Youthful Actors

When the film was released in Italy last year, Luca Pellegrini, film critic for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, praised it for its “secular morality.”

STORY: Vatican Newspaper Praises Bertolucci's 'Me and You' for its 'Secular Morality'

Io e te tells the story of a teenager who lies to his parents about going on a ski trip so that he can spend time alone in a basement. Jacopo Olmo Antinori, who played the role of the introverted boy, earned strong reviews in his first big screen effort.

The Nastri d'Argento tribute will be the film's first major award.

Io e te is Bertolucci’s first film in 10 years, since the successful small-budget romantic drama The Dreamers, in 2003.

Bertolucci won two Oscars including Best Director for his 1987 epic The Last Emperor, and he was nominated twice before that: for Last Tango in Paris in 1972 and The Conformist two years earlier.

The Nastri d’Argento honor will be Bertolucci’s third -- he won as Best Director for both Last Tango in Paris and The Last Emperor -- to go along with four other Nastri d’Argento nominations. The awards are Italy's oldest film honors, dating back to 1946.

The prize for Io e te will be presented in a special ceremony in Rome May 30.

Twitter: @EricJLyman