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Italo officials hear plea for new film law

The two days of ceremonies that accompany Italy’s most prestigious film award, the David di Donatello, were an occasion for the film industry to urge government officials to get the ball rolling on a long-awaited film law.

The situation has taken on added importance since the Ministry of Entertainment, traditional state financier of the film sector, was abolished in an April referendum.

Carmelo Rocca, the “general director of entertainment,” appeared on the scene to offer a modicum of continuity — even in the absence of a minister and ministry. Undersecretary Antonio Maccanico, appointed to temporarily head the entertainment sector, opened the ceremonies.

Worries about the disappearance of the ministry “mustn’t turn into alarm,” said Maccanico reassuringly to assembled members of the industry. “In a very short time, there will be a new administration.”

Maccanico affirmed the need for “a profound modernization” of existing film legislation. However, he had no answer to producer Claudio Bonivento’s query about why TV laws pass through parliament so much more rapidly than the film law.

“The Great Pumpkin,” directed by Francesca Archibugi, won this year’s David di Donatello award. Archibugi also took home a David for best screenplay.

The best director David was split between Roberto Faenza for “Jonah Who Lived in the Whale” and Ricky Tognazzi for “La Scorta” (The Bodyguards). Best directing debut went to Mario Martone for “Death of a Neapolitan Mathematician.”

Edgard Reitz was honored with the Luchino Visconti award. Italy is the only country in Europe where Reitz’s marathon “Heimat 2” was released theatrically.

Other awards:

Producer: Claudio Bonivento, “La Scorta”

Actress: Antonella Ponziani, “Verso Sud”

Supporting actress: Marina Confalone, “Arriva la Bufera”

Actor: Sergio Castellitto, “The Great Pumpkin”

Supporting actor: Claudio Amendola, “La Scorta”

Special jury prize: Actor Carlo Cecchi

Foreign film: “A Heart in Winter,” Claude Sautet

Franco Cristaldi prize: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia