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Mel Gibson was named Director of the Year at the Capri Hollywood International Film Festival for Hacksaw Ridge. Bill Mechanic, who was honored as Producer of the Year for the film, accepted the award on Gibson’s behalf on the Italian island off the coast of Naples.
Hacksaw Ridge stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond T. Doss, the first conscientious objector to ever win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Doss saved the lives of 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa during WWII, without having fired a single shot.
The film has been praised widely, racking up multiple Golden Globe and SAG award nominations, and is considered a frontrunner for the Academy Awards. Gibson also won Director of the Year from the Hollywood Film Awards. The Capri, Hollywood festival, held over the New Year, generally is considered to be a key campaign stop on the road to the Oscars.
“It took me 15 years to make this movie,” said Mechanic on the Anacapri cinema Paradiso stage upon accepting the awards. “Mel will be very happy to receive this award. I always thought he was perfect for this movie, but he only accepted the ask on my third request! It was very important to make this movie. As [Israeli singer] Noa, the president of this festival’s edition, said in her speech, ‘Art is more important than ever in this crazy world governed by intolerance. In this work there are open-minded attitudes and values that Hollywood movies often lack.'”
Hacksaw Ridge had its world premiere in Venice earlier this year. After a preview screening in Capri, the film will open in Italy on Feb. 9, distributed by Leone Film Group and Eagle Pictures.
The 21st edition of Capri, Hollywood concludes Jan. 2, when all award winners will be announced.
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