Star of Davids: Tornatore earns best film, director

Event a platform for authors' group

Giuseppe Tornatore's "La Sconosciuta" (The Unknown Woman) dominated Thursday night's 51st annual David di Donatello Awards, taking home the awards for best picture, director and actress.

But Tornatore had to share the spotlight with the "Centoautori" (Hundred Author) movement of writers and directors who are calling for greater government efforts to promote culture and make it more accessible. Several prize winners dedicated their award to the year-old movement and others mentioned it in their acceptance speeches.

It was the second major award in the Italian capital for "La Sconosciuta," which tells the story of an illegal Ukranian immigrant in Italy. The film, which has had only limited success outside Italy, also was named best film at the first RomaCinemaFest, where the film had its world premiere.

Tornatore has taken home Davids for two other films: in 1995 for "L'Uomo delle Stelle" (Starmaker) and three years later for "La Leggenda del Pianista Sull'Oceano" (The Legend of 1900). Tornatore is best known for "Cinema Paradiso," which earned the foreign-language Oscar in 1990.

"La Sconosciuta's" Ksenia Rappoport won the best actress prize, while "Mio Fratello e Figlio Unico" (My Brother Is an Only Child) star Elio Germano won the award for best actor.

Kim Rossi Stuart, director of "Anche Libero Va Bene" (Along the Ridge), won the award for best young director.

Ennio Morricone won the award for best musical score for his work on "La Sconosciuta." Morricone, a five-time Oscar nominee, has won the David seven times.

The producers for "L'Aria Salata" (Salty Air) — Bianca Film and RAI Cinema — won the award for best producer.

Emanuele Crialese's "Nuovo-mondo" (Golden Door) was nominated in seven categories but took home only three minor awards: for best costumes, special effects and scenery. The film won a special jury prize at last year's Venice International Film Festival.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Babel" won the award for best foreign film, robbing Gabriele Muccino of a chance to become the first Italian director to win the David for a foreign film. Muccino directed the Will Smith starrer "The Pursuit of Happyness."