‘Love and Bullets,’ ‘A Ciambra’ Split Top Honors at David Awards as Italy Tackles Gender Inequality

Naples-set mob musical “Love and Bullets,” directed by Marco and Antonio Manetti, and Jonas Carpignano’s slice-of-life drama “A Ciambra,” split top honors Wednesday night at Italy’s 62nd David di Donatello Awards, the country’s equivalent of the Oscars.

The best picture prize went to “Bullets,” which had scored the most nominations and took home 5 statuettes, including supporting actress, music, and costume design.

And the best director nod went to “A Ciambra,” which also took the editing David. “A Ciambra,” which is set in a Romani community in Southern Italy, is executive produced by Martin Scorsese. It was released in February in North America by Sundance Selects.

“Bullets” has not made a killing at the Italian box office, where it grossed a decent $1.8 million, but it’s been a favorite with Italian critics and industry folks ever since launching in competition from the Venice Film Festival last September.

The evening’s other standouts were Susanna Nicchiarelli’s “Nico 1988,” about the late German chanteuse who was among Andy Warhol’s muses and sang with the Velvet Underground, which got the screenplay nod and three other prizes, and Neapolitan animation director Alessandro Rak’s mob-themed toon “Cinderella The Cat,” which took producer honors and is considered  one of the best Italian animated films of recent years.

The prize for best first work went to bestselling author turned director Donato Carrisi’s “The Girl in the Fog,” about the disappearance of a teen girl in the Alps.


The awards ceremony was marked by a heightened awareness of gender inequality in the Italian film business and the country at large. It kicked off with a monologue by actress Paola Cortellesi about how women are reviled by expressions commonly used in the Italian language and built into the culture.

“Dissenso Comune” (Common Dissent), the Italian movement inspired by #MeToo in the U.S. made itself heard. In an open letter on Wednesday they pointed out that 88% of the films that get public funding in Italy are directed by men, as are 90.8% of pics that screen in Italian movie theaters. And a woman has never won the David for best director. “We are convinced that this is a crucial moment and have reached a point of no return,” the letter said.

Most attendees at the Davids ceremony wore Dissenso Comune pins.

This year also marks the first time the Accademia del Cinema Italiano, which is Italy’s equivalent of the Academy in the U.S., is headed by a woman, Piera De Tassis, a former artistic director of the Rome film fest and president of its parent organization who is also editor of top Italian mainstream movie mag Ciak.

The Davids ceremony was attended by Diane Keaton and Steven Spielberg who received career honors.

Keaton on stage briefly broke out in song with “Three Coins in the Fountain,” as a homage to the Eternal City. Asked before that by the show’s host about her favorite character among the roles she’s played, Keaton picked out “Annie Hall’” and subsequently said: “thank you, Woody!.” This appeared to signal she does not wish to distance herself from Allen unlike a growing list of other stars in the #MeToo and Time’s Up era.

Spielberg said that being back in Rome for this honor reminded him of “one of most extraordinary days in my life.”

After receiving the statuette from Monica Bellucci he recounted an anecdote of when he first came to the Italian capital to promote “Duel” and Federico Fellini, who had just seen the film, came to his hotel to praise the pic. Fellini took Spielberg for a walk during which he gave the young American director the following advice: “it’s always important to entertain the public, but it’s even more important to entertain yourself!”

Here’s the complete list of David Awards winners:


“Love and Bullets,” Manetti Bros, Carlo Macchitella


Jonas Carpignano, “A Ciambra”


Donato Carrisi, “The Girl in the Fog”


Susanna Nichiarelli, “Nico, 1988”


Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza, “Sicilian Ghost Story”


Luciano Stella, Maria Carolina Terzi “Cinderella the Cat”


Jasmine Trinca, “Fortunata”


Renato Carpintieri, “Tenderness”


Claudia Gerini, “Love and Bullets”


Giuliano Montaldo,  “Tutto quello che vuoi”


Gian Filippo Corticelli, “Naples in Veils”


Alfonso Gonclaves, “A Ciambra”


“La Lucida Follia di Marco Ferreri,”  Anselma Dall’Olio


Pivio and Aldo De Scalzi, “Love and Bullets”


“Bang Bang” by Pivio and Aldo De Scalzi, “Love and Bulletts”


Ivana Gargiulo, “Napoli in Veils”


Tie: Massimo Cantini Parrini, “Riccardo va all’inferno”, Daniela Salernitano, “Love and Bullets”


Marco Altieri, “Nico, 1988”


Daniela Altieri, “Nico, 1988”


The “Nico, 1988” team


Mad Entertainment “Cinderella the Cat”


“The Square,” Ruben Ostlund


“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan


“Tutto quello che vuoi,” Francesco Bruni

Lifetime Achievement David

Steven Spielberg

Special David

Stefania Sandrelli

Diane Keaton



More Film

  • Box Office Film Placeholder

    China Box Office: Taiwan's 'More Than Blue' Wins Second Weekend

    Taiwanese melodrama, “More Than Blue” held strong at the Chinese box office, to secure a second week of success. The film is a Chinese-language remake of a Korean film from 2009, involving Singapore’s MM2 and the filmmaking arm of Fox Networks. With little in the way of strong, new competition, “blue” scored $27 million, according [...]

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Us Scriptwriter and Film-maker Larry Cohen

    Larry Cohen, Cult Horror Writer-Director of 'It's Alive,' Dies at 77

    Larry Cohen, best known for his work as a B-movie producer and director in the ’70s and his later work in screenwriting, has died. He was 77. Cohen’s friend, actor and publicist Shade Rupe, confirmed the news, which was announced in a post to Cohen’s official Facebook page. Rupe said Cohen died in Los Angeles [...]

  • Captain Marvel

    Box Office: 'Captain Marvel' Shatters $900 Million Milestone

    Brie Larson’s “Captain Marvel” continues to do heroic business. In its latest box office milestone, the female-fronted superhero tentpole zoomed past $900 million in ticket sales worldwide. “Captain Marvel” brought in a mighty $87 million globally this weekend, including $52 million from international territories. It has now generated $589 million overseas for a global haul [...]

  • Us - Lupita Nyong’o - cr:

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' Stuns With $70 Million Opening Weekend

    Talk about scary good. Universal’s “Us,” the second directorial effort from Jordan Peele, pulled off a stunning debut, generating $70 million from 3,741 North American locations. That haul is enough to land it the second-best opening weekend of the year behind Disney’s “Captain Marvel” ($153 million). The psychological thriller about a family confronted by a [...]


    Film Review: 'Shazam!'

    In “Shazam!,” Zachary Levi brings off something so winning it’s irresistible. He plays a square-jawed, rippling-muscled man of might, with a cheesy Day-Glo lighting bolt affixed to his chest, who projects an insanely wholesome and old-fashioned idea of what a superhero can be. But he’s also playing a breathless teenage kid on the inside, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content