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Italian comedies strike awards vein

'Thing,' 'Cannon' split honors at Italy's Silver Ribbons

Hit Italo laffers, Paolo Virzi’s “The First Beautiful Thing” and Ferzan Ozpetek’s “Loose Cannons,” split top honors at the 65th edition of Italy’s Silver Ribbon prizes on Saturday.

“Beautiful Thing,” a bittersweet portrayal of a protofeminist Italo mom spanning several decades, took the director nod for Virzi and the screenplay ribbon, plus the actress prize awarded in a tie to Micaela Ramazzotti and Stefania Sandrelli, who play the pic’s femme central character at different ages.

Produced by Milan-based Indiana Prods., in which helmer Gabriele Muccino is a partner, “Beautiful Thing” has scored more than $8 million locally, released by Medusa.

“Cannons,” about a pasta industrialist’s son struggling to tell his family he’s gay, scooped nods for comedy, supporting actor and actress, and cinematography.

Produced by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango, “Cannons” has pulled more than $10 million locally via RAI Cinemas 01 Distribution, and also sold widely internationally. Pic took a Special Jury mention at Tribeca.

“Beautiful Thing” and “Cannons” are examples of Italo auds’ appetite for local titles mixing comedy with social themes.

Thanks to such pics, the local market share of Italo films stands at a healthy 30% despite the onslaught of Hollywood 3D blockbusters.

Ceremony for the Silver Ribbons, awarded by the Italian film journalists’ union, SNGCI, was televised by pubcaster RAI and took place in the outdoor ancient Greek theater in Taormina, Sicily, as a coda to the Taormina Film Festival.

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