L.A. Italia Festival to Honor Liza Minnelli With Lifetime Achievement Award

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli

The festival has announced a slate of 50 films celebrating the best of Italian and Italian-American cinema and culture.

Academy Award-winner Liza Minnelli will be honored with the 2015 Jack Valenti Los Angeles, Italia Legend Award at the 10th annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest Festival. Named after the longtime MPAA president, the award honors Italian-Americans who have made great contributions to cinema.

Previous recipients include Al Pacino and Anjelica Huston.

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“I am very grateful to receive the 2015 Jack Valenti Los Angeles, Italia Legend Award,” said Minnelli in a statement. “I was fortunate to watch my father, Vincente Minnelli, direct some of the greatest motion pictures Hollywood has produced and from him I received two wonderful things: my love of movies and my Italian heritage. Both Jack Valenti and my father were pioneers in their own way, and I hope that they would be proud of my own contributions to the movies.”

As previously announced, the festival this year is dedicated to Frank Sinatra, in commemoration of the centennial of his birth, with a retrospective of his films. Jimmy Kimmel will receive the fest’s Award of Excellence.

The L.A. Italia Fest has widened its scope this year with an unprecedented program of 50 films, including five world premieres. Taking place at the Hollywood & Highland complex directly preceding the Oscars, the fest will showcase the best of Italian and Italian-American culture. A screening of Francesco Rosi's Venice Gold Lion winner Hands Over the City will open the fest to commemorate the late Italian maestro.

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World premieres include Marco Pontecorvo’s Party Cloudy (With Sunny Spells), starring John Turturro and Luca Zingaretti; David Petrucci’s Hope Lost; Massimo Ivan Falsetta’s Calibro 10; Sergio Navarretta’s The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship; and Francesco Cinquemani’s documentary Offstage.

Fourteen films will receive U.S. premieres, including recent Italy box-office hits It Takes a Miracle! from Alessandro Siani, Soap Opera by Alessandro Genovesi and Ever Been to the Moon? by Paolo Genovese.

The festival runs Feb. 15-21.