Los Angeles Italia fest to fete movie composer

ROME — Italy’s honorary Academy Award winner, Ennio Morricone, will be feted by the Los Angeles Italia Film, Fashion & Food Festival, which runs Feb. 18-24 in L.A.

Second edition of the event, chaired this year by Bobby Moresco, is also celebrating veteran helmer Mario Monicelli whose “Big Deal on Madonna Street,” in a recently restored copy, will kick off screenings of a mix of some 35 classic and current Italo titles in Grauman’s 6 Chinese Theatre Feb. 18.

Pics unspooling also include the L.A. preem of Mimmo Calopresti’s Holocaust docu “I Only Wanted To Live,” produced by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation, and the world bow of “Nero Bifamiliare,” a first work starring Claudia Gerini (“The Passion of the Christ”), helmed by Federico Zampaglione.

“The Mission,” “The Untouchables” and “Malena,” are among Morricone-scored pics comprising the event’s tribute to the maestro.

A gala in tandem with the AFI on Feb. 22 will honor Italian-American former MPAA topper Jack Valenti.

Organized by Capri in the World Institute, in collaboration with the National Italian American Foundation, and the USC film school, the pre-Oscars Italo showcase will also feature a show of “Marie Antoinette” dresses, by Oscar-nommed Italo costume designer Milena Canonero, at the Highland Art Gallery, and regional cuisine tastings at the Trastevere Restaurant in the Hollywood and Highland Center.

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