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Directed by Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge tells the story of Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest honor in the U.S. military. The film stars Andrew Garfield, who was honored in 2007 with Capri’s breakout actor of the year, Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn and Teresa Palmer. Andrew Knight and Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Schenkkan penned the script.
Hacksaw Ridge had a unanimously positive premiere at Venice Film Fest before debuting stateside in November. The film was over 15 years in the making, going through multiple writers and studios before Mechanic found his winning team.
Actor Franco Nero will present Mechanic with the award on Dec. 30 at the island fest, followed by a screening of the film. The festival, which takes place over the New Year, is considered a key event leading up to the Academy Awards.
“There is no one more deserving than Bill Mechanic to be named our producer of the year,” said festival director Pascal Vicedomini. “His unrelenting 15-year journey in bringing Hacksaw Ridge to the screen has paid off big time thanks to the directorial genius of Mel Gibson and stellar performances by an amazing ensemble cast. We are thrilled to be both honoring Bill and showing this wonderful film at Capri Hollywood.”
“I am appreciative of the honor being afforded me by Pascal and his colleagues at the Capri in the World Institute. But to me, its the film, Hacksaw Ridge, and the amazing team that helped me bring it to the screen, that deserves the kudos,” said Mechanic in a statement. “While I wish it hadn’t taken so long to make, this film needed Mel Gibson’s genius and Andrew Garfield’s stunning performance to truly bring the story to life.”
Mechanic’s other producing credits include Henry Sellick’s Oscar-nominated Coraline, Terrence Malick’s The New World and Walter Salles’ Dark Water. His upcoming slate with company Pandemonium Films includes projects with Paul Verhoeven, David Fincher, John Woo, Gregor Jordan and Ben Lewin.
Mechanic was previously chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment for seven years, when the studio earned 42 Academy Award nominations and two best picture Oscars for Braveheart and Titanic.
Prior honorees of the Capri Hollywood producer of the year award include Jim Gianopulos, Thomas Langmann, Lawrence Bender, Harvey Weinstein, Mark Canton and Andrea and Raffaella Leone.
The 21st edition of Capri Hollywood takes place Dec. 26, 2016 to Jan. 2. 2017. Other honorees this year include Stephen Frears as European director of the year, Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea as European movie of the year, and a special tribute to producer Dino de Laurentiis.