Turin Fest to Honor Italian Maestro Ettore Scola With Lifetime Achievement Award

The 81-year-old Scola was nominated for Cannes' Palme d'Or eight times, taking home the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards once each.

ROME – The Turin Film Festival announced Tuesday that it would honor semi-retired Italian auteur Ettore Scola with the Gran Premio Torino lifetime achievement prize.

The honor to Scola will be the second Gran Premio Torino award at the 30th edition of the festival: organizers previously announced they would similarly honor Ken Loach.

The 81-year-old Scola was among the protagonists of the second half of Italy’s post-World War II Golden Age of cinema. His career dates to the early 1950s as a screenwriter, but he started to make a name for himself in the 1960s when he turned to directing. 

Scola directed 40 films in a nearly-40-year directorial career that included eight Palme d’Or nominations, winning the Best Director honor in 1976 for Brutti, sporchi e cattivi (Ugly, Dirty and Bad) and the honor for Best Screenplay in 1980 for La terazza, which starred Italian acting icons Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni in a storyline centered on a terrace party among Italian communist intellectuals.

But Scola, who was Cannes jury president in 1988, is probably best known in critical circles for his 1974 comedic drama C’eravamo tanto amati (We All Loved Each Other So Much), the story of three idealists who met as partisans in World War II and experienced difficulties settling into a peacetime lifestyle. The film, considered one of the most influential films of the commedia all’italiana comedy genre, won multiple festival awards and critical acclaim en route to a successful international run.

Scola retired from directing in 2003 with comedy Gente di Roma (People of Rome), though he has remained active in the sector as an occasional television screenwriter, and adding his name to the high-profile industry figures siding with protesting workers at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios.

The Turin festival, the last to be headed by noted director Gianni Amelio, will  take place this year Nov. 23-Dec. 1. Director Paolo Sorrentino will head the festival's international jury.