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Trio vie for Italy’s Donatello Awards

Kudofest to be held April 19

ROME — Silvio Soldini’s “Bread and Tulips,” Ricky Tognazzi’s “Canone Inverso” and Marco Bechis’ “Garage Olimpo” will contend for top prizes at the 2000 David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s premier film honors, which will be presented April 19 in a ceremony broadcast live on RAI-1.

Soldini’s gentle comedy about a bored housewife who takes an unplanned vacation from family duties in Venice, and Tognazzi’s romantic drama about a young violinist in Prague each scored nine nominations.

Italo-Argentine director Bechis’ hard-hitting political drama, which premiered in the 1999 Cannes fest’s Certain Regard section, was nominated in five categories. All three pictures are up for best film, director and screenplay.

“Bread and Tulips” is one of the front-runners among a lean crop of Italian productions vying for Cannes selection this year. The film also received nominations for best actress (Licia Maglietta) and actor (Bruno Ganz).

“Canone Inverso,” which stars Hans Matheson, Melanie Thierry and Gabriel Byrne, was shot in English. While the Italian version has been a modest domestic hit in a slow season, the original-language version is still being fine-tuned. The Cecchi Gori production is expected to have its market premiere at Cannes.

In the running for best foreign film are Sam Mendes’ “American Beauty,” Damien O’Donnell’s “East is East” and Pedro Almodovar’s “All About My Mother,” all of which have been box office hits in Italy.

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