Italy's Giffoni Fest to Honor Alan Rickman

Dave M. Bennett
Alan Rickman

Europe's largest film fest for young viewers will present the actor with a special award named for Francois Truffault.

ROME -- Prolific film and stage actor Alan Rickman will be honored with a special lifetime achievement prize at next month's Giffoni Film Festival, the event's organizer Claudio Gubitosi announced Thursday.

Giffoni, which takes place in the historic and picturesque Italian village of Giffoni Valle Piana, near Naples, is the oldest and largest children’s film festival in Europe. It is also one of the most popular fests in Italy in terms of attendance, with more than 100,000 attendees expected.

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Rickman, 68, is a classically trained actor who became known for his stage work before making his film debut in 1988 in the Bruce Willis thriller Die Hard. He also played a key role in 2003 comedy Love Actually and had a cameo role as Ronald Reagan in Lee Daniels' award winning The Butler last year.

But to the young moviegoers at Giffoni, Rickman will be best known for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.

He will be presented with a special award named for French auteur Francois Truffault.

The 43rd edition of the festival will take place July 18-27, with Rickman's award scheduled to be presented July 23.

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