Actor to receive 2009 Excellence Award

The Locarno Film Festival will bestow its 2009 Excellence Award on Italo thesp Toni Servillo.

Servillo gave a tour-de-force performance as former Italo Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who won office seven times, in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il Divo.”

That role has won Servillo plenty of plaudits including a recent European Film Award also given for his more minor role in Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah.”

Servillo, who hails from the fertile Neapolitan theater and film scene, has been steadily gaining recognition as one of Italy’s most versatile and talented thesps.

Over the past three years he has scopped two David di Donatello nods, Italy’s highest movie honors.

Previous winners of Locarno’s Excellence Award include Susan Sarandon, John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe.

The Locarno fest has close ties to the Italian film industry due to its location in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. It runs Aug. 5-15.

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