ROME — An Italian version of the GLAAD Media Awards dedicated to thoughtful and diverse representations of LGBT characters and storylines in Italian and international media will make its debut tonight with GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in tow.
Called the Diversity Media Awards, they are modelled after the GLAAD Media Awards in the U.S., but not an official GLAAD event. The show is being launched by Diversity, an Italian organisation that aims to reduce prejudice and discrimination against the LGBT community, which in Italy is still rather rampant though things are slowly changing.
Earlier this month Italy became the last of the EU’s 28 nations to give some legal rights to gay couples after a battle that went on for years amid opposition from the Catholic Church.
GLAAD consulted with organizers of Italy’s Diversity Media Awards who utilised their best practices. However Diversity will add an academic twist to analysing issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in Italy. The nominees – in the categories of film, TV, radio, advertising, and web series – have been selected based on research compiled by scholars from eleven Italian universities. The scholars analyzed and evaluated the media content based on principles reflecting GLAAD Media Awards criteria.
“The whole world of communication has great responsibility, because it enters directly into Italian homes and influences the collective imagination,” said Diversity topper Francesca Vecchioni, in a statement. “Talking about these issues does not concern just LGBT people; it addresses discrimination as a whole,” she added.
Sarah Kate Ellis enthused that “GLAAD is pleased to share what we have learned with advocates working in countries across the world to accelerate acceptance and understanding of LGBT people everywhere,” adding that “The Diversity Media Awards will help boost inclusive representation and advance acceptance for LGBT Italians.”
The awards, held in Milan, will go out in streaming video on Discovery Italy’s Dplay service and via the Diversity website.
Films nominated for a nod include Maria Sole Tognazzi’s lesbian romcom “Io e lei,” (pictured) toplining Italo A-listers Margherita Buy (“My Mother”) and Sabrina Ferilli (“The Great Beauty”) which has played well at the local box office, and Laura Bispuri’s “Sworn Virgin,” distributed by Strand Releasing in the U.S..