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Cannes man Moretti for Lecon de Cinema

Helmer-thesp expected to lament state of Italian cinema, broadcasting

PARIS — Controversial Italian helmer-thesp Nanni Moretti will give the annual Lecon de Cinema talk at the Cannes Film Festival (May 15-26).

Moretti’s “The Son’s Room,” which nabbed the Palme d’Or at last year’s fest, was the first Italian film to win top Cannes honors since Ermanno Olmi’s “The Tree of Wooden Clogs” in 1978. Film has grossed more than $13 million worldwide, though Stateside it barely recouped the mid-six figures Miramax paid for North American rights.

Moretti, a Croisette favorite, also won the Cannes’ director prize in 1994 for “Caro Diario” and was a member of the jury in 1997.

According to Moretti, he’s not an actor, director or screenwriter, just “a little of everything at the same time.”

Traditionally, the Lecon de Cinema helmer chats about his body of work. But the extremely left-wing Moretti, who continually butts heads with media mogul and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right Italian coalition, is expected to use the opportunity to lament the state of Italian cinema and broadcasting.

The Lecon de Cinema talks debuted at Cannes in 1991. Past speakers include Wong Kar-wai, Agnes Varda, Theo Angelopoulos, Wim Wenders and Milos Forman. A U.S. helmer has yet to be selected.

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