Italy's Top Movie Awards Move From RAI to Sky Italia

Italy David di Donatello Award - P 2012

Italy David di Donatello Award - P 2012

The 60th edition of the David di Donatello awards will for the first time screen on the pay TV giant instead of its longtime public broadcasting home.

The the David di Donatello Awards, Italy's equivalent to the Oscars, will be moving from their traditional home on public broadcaster RAI to Sky Italia this year for the first time.

The event, scheduled for April 18, will air on Sky Italia’s cinema channel as well as digital channel TV8.

The 60th edition of the awards ceremony is expected to take on a full-scale production upgrade for the pay TV network, similar to how Sky Italia renovated The X Factor when it took it over from RAI and launched it into one of Italy’s most popular shows.

In edition to moving the ceremony to primetime, Sky is expected to develop a 360-degree strategy around the event, accompanied by and followed by special programming that traces the importance of the award in Italian cinematic history.

Sky is also expected to launch a dedicated pop-up channel for the Donatello awards, as it does for the Oscars each year one week preceding and following the Academy Awards ceremony.

The current deal is only for 2016. The Academy of Italian Cinema, the body in charge of the awards, will then determine what makes sense for future years.

Financial details of the TV deal for this year weren't disclosed.

"We are very proud to be the partner of the Academy of Italian Cinema for the David di Donatellos on the occasion of their 60th anniversary,” said Andrea Scrosati, executive vp programming at Sky Italia. “Our challenge will be to help make this event the biggest celebration of the talent and excellence of Italian cinema, a unique asset for the cultural industry of the country recognized around the world.”

Like the Oscars, the David di Donatello awards are voted on by members of Italy’s cinema industry. The prize is a miniature gold statuette modeled after Donatello’s famous David sculpture. There are currently 24 categories given out. Last year, Birdman took home the prize for best foreign film.  

Sky Italia is part of pan-European pay TV giant Sky, in which 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake.