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L.A. fest salutes Italy

'Bomba' takes aud award

“La Bomba,” a sly comedy about two waiters posing as mobsters in New York’s Little Italy, received the audience award at the closing ceremonies Saturday of the first Los Angeles Festival of Italian Films. Director Giulio Base said he hoped the prize would benefit the film in Italy and help secure it American distribution.

A special Italian-American discovery prize was awarded to the makers of the U.S. indie “True Friends,” principally James Quatrrochi, Loreto Mauro and Rodrigo Bottero.

Additional honors were presented to composer Tony Rennis and lifetime achievement prizes to actors Franco Nero and Giancarlo Giannini. The latter had to bow out due to a filming conflict, but Nero gave an eloquent speech, accepting in the spirit of films “which appeal to the boy in the man and to the man in the boy.”

The weeklong event, curated by Gigi Campanile and Marina Salvo, unspooled 20 recent Italian features and 14 shorts.