Women in Film to Honor First Female Academy Award-Nominated Director Lina Wertmüller

Lina Wertmuller - Getty - H 2019
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The Italian filmmaker, who is also set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, broke the glass ceiling with an Oscar nomination in 1976 with her film 'Seven Beauties.'

It’s shaping up to be a big week for Roman auteur Lina Wertmüller, as the 91-year-old Academy Award-nominated writer and director is set to be honored in Los Angeles with an honorary Oscar as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The festivities will be kicked off by Women in Film, who will hold an honorary event for Wertmüller on Thursday at a luncheon at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, co-hosted by WIF board president Amy Baer and executive director Kirsten Schaffer.

"It is an extreme honor to celebrate the groundbreaking Lina Wertmüller,” Baer said Monday in a statement. “She is the living embodiment of all that Women in Film stands for: expanding the role of women within the entertainment industry through the pursuit of professional endurance and creative excellence."

She continued: "We are thrilled that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has finally bestowed upon her an honor that is so deserved and are grateful to commemorate this moment with her."

Wertmüller was the first-ever woman to be nominated for a best director Oscar for her 1976 classic Seven Beauties. The film received four nominations in total, including for best original screenplay for Wertmüller, best foreign language film and best actor for her frequent collaborator Giancarlo Giannini.

While Wertmüller may have paved the way, there have been only four other women who have since received best director noms: Jane Campion (The Piano), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), with only Bigelow taking home the Oscar in 2010.

Wertmüller, who began her career as an assistant director to Federico Fellini on the 1963 film , became renowned for her unique cinematic vision in political and often whimsical movies.

Her noted films include The Seduction of Mimi (1972), Love and Anarchy (1973) and Swept Away (1974), which was later remade by Guy Ritchie.

Wertmüller will finally take home an Oscar at the Governors Awards on Sunday, alongside other honorary award winners David Lynch, Wes Studi and Geena Davis.

Wertmüller’s trip to Los Angeles was organized by the Capri in the World Institute in association with MIBACT, SIAE and Italy’s Basilicata Region, under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Institute of Culture in Los Angeles.

“We sincerely thank Amy Baer, Kirsten Schaffer and the entire Women In Film team for rolling out the red carpet for Lina with the first event on her whirlwind Los Angeles visit,” said Pascal Vicedomini, Secretary General of the Capri in the World Institute. “She received that organization’s prestigious Crystal Award in 1985 and has been extremely supportive of their activities ever since.”

Wertmüller on Oct. 28 will be honored with the 2,679th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of motion pictures. Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian, along with Vicedomini, are scheduled to honor her at the ceremony.

Among other festivities planned for Wertmüller are the American premiere of her first film The Basilisks (1963), featuring an iconic score by Ennio Morricone, on Saturday, followed by a gala dinner celebration and screenings of two more of her films, Up to Date (1989) and Francesca and Nunziata (2002) on Oct. 28 at the TCL Chinese Theatre.