‘Windows’ glimpses victory in Italo awards

Few references to war during Donatello ceremony

See winnersROME — Helmer Ferzan Ozpetek’s ”La Finestra di Fronte” (Facing Windows) scooped four statuettes at Italy’s 2003 David di Donatello film awards in Rome Wednesday, including film and actor for Massimo Girotti, who died shortly after pic wrapped.

Love triangle story, produced by Tilde Corsi and Gianni Romoli for R&C Produzioni, has enjoyed wide box office and critical acclaim in Italy. The film also took trophies for actress (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), music (Andrea Guerra) and it scored in the David Scuola, a special prize voted on by high school students.

Director honors went to Pupi Avati for his “Il Cuore Altrove” (The Heart is Elsewhere), a bittersweet story of a shy young man destroyed by his love for a blind woman.

Producer kudos went to Domenico Procacci for “Respiro” helmed by Emanuele Crialese. Procacci’s “L’Imbalsamatore” (The Embalmer), helmed by Matteo Garrone, also took prizes for screenplay and supporting actor (Ernesto Mahieux).

First time helmer Daniele Vicari nabbed best first feature for “Velocita Massima” (Maximum Velocity), another Procacci production.

Supporting actress kudos went to Piera Degli Espositi for Marco Bellocchio’s art house hit ‘L’ora di Religione’ (Hour of Religion, My Mother’s Eyes). The film also took the special critics’ Piemonte-Torino Olimpica prize.

“Pinocchio” took costume and set design. The pic’s director and star Roberto Benigni was absent but he pre-recorded a message to express his thanks. With typical hi-jinks, Benigni said at one point ”art is the best thing for peace. No one can stop the beauty and grandeur of art.”

Surprisingly, Gabriele Muccino’s ”Remember Me,” which had 10 noms, turned out to be forgettable, missing out on a trophy altogether.

Helmer Roman Polanski’s Polish holocaust drama “The Pianist” was named foreign film, beating Rob Marshall’s “Chicago,” Pedro Almodovar’s ”Talk to Her,” Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours” and Patrice Leconte’s “The Man on the Train.”

Unlike “The Pianist” star Adrien Brody’s impassioned anti-war speech at the Oscars, Polanski did not refer to the military crisis in Iraq in his acceptance speech. “I want to dedicate this award to the victims of that tragedy… but also to the heroes that brought us liberty,” he said.

There were few other references to the war during the ceremony. However, the live broadcast was pushed off pubcaster flagship channel RAI 1, which aired political talk show “Porta Porta,” and onto RAI 2

The organization that manages the Donatellos, the Ente David di Donatello, revamped its image in time for this 48th edition of the awards.

It adds the name Academy of Italian Cinema, to bring it into line with the U.S Academy Awards, France’s Cesars, Spain’s Goyas, and the U.K.’s Baftas.

And the winners are . .

“La Finestra di Fronte” (Facing Windows)

Pupi Avati “Il Cuore Altrove” (The Heart is Elsewhere)

Debuting Director
Daniele Vicari “Velocita Massima” (Maximum Velocity)

Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso, Ugo Chiti “L”Imbalsamatore” (The Embalmer)

Domenico Procacci “Respiro”

Massimo Girotti “La Finestra di Fronte” (Facing Windows)

Giovanna Mezzogiorno “La Finestra di Fronte” (Facing Windows)

Supporting Actor
Ernesto Mahieux “L’Imbalsamatore” (The Embalmer)

Supporting Actress
Piera degli Espositi “L’ora di Religione” (Hour of Religion, My Mother”s Smile)

Daniele Nannuzzi “El Alamein-La Linea del Fuoco”

Cecilia Zanuso “El Alamein-La Linea del Fuoco”

Andrea Guerra “La Finestra di Fronte” (Facing Windows)

Andrea Giorgio Moser “El Alamein-La Linea del Fuoco”

Foreign Film
Roman Polanski “The Pianist”

Set Design
Danilo Donati “Pinocchio”

Costume design
Danilo Donati “Pinocchio”

Best Short Film (two winners)
Mario Amura “Racconto di Guerra” (War Story)
Paolo Ameli “Rosso Fango” (Red Clay).

Special Awards
Piemonte-Torino Olimpica prize, (voted by critics and film journalists)
“L’ora di Religion”

David Scuola (voted by high school students)
“La Finestra di Fronte” (Facing Windows)

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