‘La La Land’ Composer to be Feted at L.A. Italia Fest

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Justin Hurwitz

Justin Hurwitz will receive the Song of the Year Award on Sunday night.

Justin Hurwitz, the only person to receive three Oscar nominations this year, will be feted Sunday night at the opening of the L.A. Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest, which is set to run through Feb. 25 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Hollywood.

The La La Land composer will receive song of the year honors from the fest for the tune “City of Stars,” which is also a best original song Academy Award nominee, with music by Hurwitz and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Hurwitz also is Oscar-nominated for original score and for the song “Audition (The Fools Who Dream).”

He has already picked up two Golden Globes, two Satellite Awards and a BAFTA for his work on the romantic musical. 

As previously announced, the fest's opening ceremony also will honor Mel Gibson as director of the year for Hacksaw Ridge (which is also nominated for an Oscar), as well as Lion’s young star Sunny Pawar, who will pick up the child performer of the year award.  

“The event honors Italian and American artists alike as part of an effort to build bridges between our two great countries,” festival founder Pascal Vicedomini said in a statement. “The caliber of this year’s guests is a testament to how many people share this same goal.”

Following the ceremony, the festival will officially kick off with the world premiere of Giovanni Veronesi’s No Country for Young Men from Rai Cinema, a film about young Italians who leave Italy to work abroad.

Gianfranco Rosi, who is nominated for an Oscar for his refugee documentary Fire at Sea, will be honored with the documentary of the year award. And Mario Bello, whose closing-night film is the world premiere of In Search of Fellini, also will be feted.

Tributes dedicated to Marcello Mastroianni and Dean Martin will screen throughout the week.