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ROME – Italo auteur Mario Martone’s 19th century-set drama “We Believed,” about the revolutionary turmoil that led to Italian unification, was the big winner at Italy’s David di Donatello Awards, scooping seven of the country’s top film nods.

Martone’s timely costume ensembler, produced by Palomar and RAI, took statuettes for best picture, screenplay, and cinematography, plus set design, costumes, makeup, and hair.

Recognition for “Believed” comes after a solid Italo box office run, as the country celebrates the150th anniversary of its becoming a single nation.

The best director David went to working-class drama “La Nostra Vita” (Our Life), which also won the best actor statuette for protag Elio Germano.

The best first-time director David went to Rocco Papaleo for “Basilicata Coast to Coast,” a fresh musical road movie that has been a local sleeper hit.

“Basilicata” also took nods for best score and original song.

But this year’s biggest standout at the Davids was first-time Italo helmer Aureliano Amadei’s “20 sigarette,” an autobiographical account of surviving a suicide bombing in Iraq, which snagged four statuettes.

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.

Amadei’s powerful, partly comic, first work, took Davids for best producer(s), Tilde Corsi, Gianni Romoli, and Claudio Bonivento; for best editing, and special effects, and the special Youth David, voted by Italian students.

As for foreign films, the winner was Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter,” while Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech,” took the David for best foreign pic produced within the EU.

Customarily lackluster ceremony, aired live on niche channel RAI Movie amid an upbeat mood on the state of the Italian industry which is gloating about having seven local pics among the top ten at the local box office.

DAVID AWARDS:

PICTURE

“We Believed,” Mario Martone

DIRECTOR

Daniele Luchetti, “La Nostra Vita”

DEBUT DIRECTOR

Rocco Papaleo, “Basilicata Coast To Coast”

SCREENPLAY

Mario Martone, Giancarlo De Cataldo, “We Believed”

PRODUCER

Tide Corsi, Gianni Romoli, Claudio Bonivento, “20 Cigarette”

ACTRESS

Paola Cortellesi, “Nessuno Mi Può Giudicare”

ACTOR

Elio Germano, “La Nostra Vita”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Valentina Lodovini, “Benvenuti Al Sud”

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Giuseppe Battiston, “La Passione”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Renato Berta, “We Believed”

EDITING

Alessio Doglione, “20 Cigarette”

SCORE

Rita Marcotulli, Rocco Papaleo,”Basilicata Coast To Coast”

ORIGINAL SONG

“Mentre Dormi,” Max Gazze, in Rocco Papaleo’s “Basilicata Coast To Coast”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Emita Frigato, “We Believed”

COSTUME DESIGN

Ursula Patzak, “We Believed”

MAKEUP ARTIST

Vittorio Sodano, “We Believed”

HAIR ARTIST

Aldo Signoretti, “We Believed”

SOUND

Bruno Pupparo, “La Nostra Vita”

SPECIAL EFFECTS

Rebel Alliance, “20 Cigarette”

EUROPEAN UNION PICTURE

“The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper

FOREIGN FILM OUTSIDE THE E.U.

“Hereafter,” Clint Eastwood

DOCUMENTARY

“E’ Stato Morto Un Ragazzo,” by Filippo Vendemmiati

SHORT

“Jody Delle Giostre,” by Adriano Sforzi

YOUTH DAVID “20 Cigarette,” Aureliano Amadei