'Sconosciuta' is Italy's Oscar entry


ROME -- Giuseppe Tornatore's "La Sconosciuta" (The Unknown Woman) will represent Italy in Oscar's foreign-language category this year, marking the second time the helmer has carried the flag for Italy. He won the foreign-language Oscar in 1990 for "Cinema Paradiso."

The honor, announced Wednesday by the Italian Association of Cinematographic Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries, caps a stellar year for both Tornatore and "La Sconosciuta," which tells the story of a Ukrainian immigrant with a dark past who lives in a small Italian town.

The film took home five David di Donatello Awards, including best film and best drector nods, scooped the audience award at June's Moscow Film Festival, earned three nominations for the new Cinecitta awards for behind-the-scenes excellence in film and five for the Diamanti al Cinema Awards.

Tornatore, meanwhile, received an lifetime achievement nod at this summer's Taormina Film Festival, where he was the subject of a comprehensive retrospective.

According to ANICA, Daniele Luchetti's Festival de Cannes entry "Mio Fratello e Figlio Unico" (My Brother is an Only Child) also was considered as Italy's entry, but "La Sconosciuta" was selected after a lengthy debate.