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Alejandro G. Iñárritu can add another trophy to his Birdman collection.
After its Oscar win last year, Birdman took home the top prize for best foreign film Friday at the David Di Donatello awards, Italy’s version of the Academy Awards. The film beat out nominees American Sniper, Boyhood, Mommy and The Salt of the Earth.
Francesco Munzi‘s Black Souls was the big winner for the night. The mafia drama, which premiered last year in Venice, won for both best film and best director, winning over Mario Martone’s Leopardi, Saverio Costanzo’s Hungry Hearts, Nanni Moretti’s My Mother, and Ermanno Olmi’s Torneranno i prati.
The Theory of Everything won best European film, beating out fellow nominees Wild Tales, Locke, Pride, and The Broken Circle Breakdown. The 59th edition of the David Di Donatello awards aired live on Rai TV.
Quentin Tarantino, fresh off his edit for Hateful Eight, attended the ceremony to pick up in person his past awards. The director won the best foreign film award twice, for Pulp Fiction in 1995 and Django Unchained in 2013. He spoke with reporters earlier in the day, claiming that he endured the 14-hour flight to Rome for his Italian fans.
Italians are eager for Hateful Eight to receive its world premiere in Venice in September. The Weinstein Company will premiere the film in 70mm format on Christmas Day, and the digital release on Jan. 8, 2016.
Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella surprised the director at a presentation at Quirinale Palace before the official ceremony. He called out Tarantino directly in his address on Italy’s ongoing economic crisis. “It’s not easy to get out of the crisis. Even if you were to lend us Mr. Wolf, he would be incapable of solving every problem.”
Local media was baffled by the statement from the normally reserved 73-year-old president. Harvey Keitel‘s infamous character in Reservoir Dogs introduces himself with the unforgettable line: “I’m Mr. Wolf. I solve problems.”
Tarantino joked that he just might have to revisit his Mr. Wolf character with another project.
The pre-ceremony focused on Italy’s return to the global film stage. Through an increase in foreign film productions and a stronger tax credit, Hollywood has already made a move back to the eternal city. The Ben-Hur remake and Zoolander 2 are just two of the big-budget films back using Rome’s Cinecitta studios this year.
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