Stephen Frears to Get Capri Hollywood Fest's European Director of the Year Honor

Stephen Frears Getty H 2016
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The 'Florence Foster Jenkins' director will be feted on the Italian island.

Italy’s Capri Hollywood Film Festival will honor Oscar-nominated director Stephen Frears with its European director of the year award.

It will also screen his latest film, Florence Foster Jenkins, in a ceremony on Dec. 30.

“Since the Eighties, Frears has been able to capture the essence of Britain with his profound, ironic and challenging approach, constantly working between Europe and Hollywood,'' said festival director Pascal Vicedomini of his decision to honor the 75-year-old British filmmaker behind the likes of  Philomena and The Queen.

''This is going to be our heartfelt tribute to an outstanding player of the contemporary cinema,” said Lina Wertmuller, honorary president of the festival.

Florence Foster Jenkins stars Meryl Streep as a wealthy 1940s New York heiress who dreams of being an opera singer despite lacking the vocal talent. Hugh Grant and Rebecca Ferguson also star.

Capri Hollywood is the last festival of the year, held over the New Year's holiday on the island off the coast of Naples. Taking place during the key Oscar campaigning period, the fest fills its lineup with a wealth of potential Academy Award candidates.

Past winners of the European director award include Michael Radford, Paul Verhoeven, Michel Hazanavicius, Pawel Pawlikowski and Paolo Sorrentino. The festival has a history of honoring films that go on to take home Oscars, such as, in recent years, Ida, The Artist and The Great Beauty. Last year, the fest honored Ennio Morricone for his Hateful Eight score and Brie Larson for her performance in Room. Both went on to win Academy Awards.  

The Capri Hollywood Film Festival takes place Dec. 26-Jan. 2. The fest, chaired by Rainman screenwriter Barry Morrow, is also honoring Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary Fire at Sea as European film of the year.