VENICE — First-time Italo helmer Aureliano Amadei’s “20 sigarette,” an autobiographical account of surviving a suicide bombing in Iraq, is the winner of the 67th Venice Film Festival’s Controcampo Italiano award, the fest’s first official nod.
“20 sigarette,” which translates as 20 cigarettes, is a partly comic depiction of Amadei’s experience at the Nasiriyah Italian military police base where, shortly after arriving to serve as A.D. on a film, suicide bombers drove a tanker truck into the building. Amadei, as it turned out, was the only civilian survivor.
The title refers to the fact that Amadei hadn’t even gone through his first pack of cigarettes in Iraq before his life changed forever.
Produced by Tilde Corsi and Gianni Romoli’s R&C in association with RAI Cinema, “20 sigarette” will be released in Italy by Cinecitta Luce.
The Controcampo Italiano section, which is dedicated to new trends in Italian cinema, carries a prize from Kodak worth Euros 40,000 ($51,000) in either 35mm or 16mm film stock.
The fest’s other official nods will be announced Saturday, during the closing ceremony.