LA-Italia Fest to Honor U2, Song 'Ordinary Love'


The acclaimed Irish rock band joins a star-studded guest list that includes David O. Russell and Steve Coogan.

ROME -- Iconic Irish rock band U2 will be honored by the Los Angeles-Italia Film, Fashion and Art Festival, adding to an already star-studded guest list at the event, which gets underway Sunday in Los Angeles.

The nine-year-old festival, which mostly focuses on the achievements of Italian and Italian-American filmmakers and entertainers, said it would pay homage to the group for its song "Ordinary Love," part of the soundtrack for the Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Actress Naomie Harris, who played Winnie Mandela in the film, will present the award.

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The acceptance of the honor by U2 adds additional star power to the week-long event that already includes David O. Russell, director of ten-time Oscar-nominee American Hustle; Steve Coogan, writer, producer and star of Oscar-nominee Philomena; and a host of A-List Italian talents including filmmaker Roberto Faenza, acclaimed singer-songwriter Francesco De Gregori and choreographer Daniel Ezralow, who helped choreograph the opening ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics.

Italian-American actor Joe Mantegna will chair the event, with Italian actress and showgirl Elisabetta Canalis -- formerly linked romantically with George Clooney -- will be the event's master of ceremonies.

The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza), Paolo Sorrentino's biting take on the Italian capital that is a finalist for the Oscar for best foreign language film, will get the festival underway Saturday.

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"The LA-Italia festival is an important bridge between two great countries, said Pascal Vicedomini, the event's founder who also heads two other festivals in Italy. "We're thrilled and honored to have all these great talents with us and look forward to more collaborations between the two countries in the future."

The event, which takes place at the TLC Chinese Theaters in Hollywood, is the last major event on the film calendar before the Oscars. It concludes March 1.

Twitter: @EricJLyman