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Giorgio Diritti’s biopic of an obscure artist “Hidden Away,” Gianni Amelio’s “Hammamet,” about scandal plagued Italian leader Bettino Craxi, and dark drama “Bad Tales” by the D’Innocenzo Brothers lead the race for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards, the country’s top film prizes, for which this year there is no clear frontrunner.

Interestingly, “Hidden Away,” which scooped 15 nominations, and “Bad Tales,” which tallied 13 noms, both star actor Elio Germano. Germano also stars in another film in the Davids race, Netflix Italian Original “The Incredible Story of Rose Island,” which scooped 11 nominations, including one for Matteo Rovere, its producer.

During a virtual press conference Piera Detassis, who heads the David nods, underlined the strong presence this year of women directors, citing Susanna Nicchiarelli’s “Miss Marx,” a biopic of Karl Marx’s proto-feminist daughter Eleanor, and also Emma Dante’s Sicily-set “The Macaluso Sisters,” that are both nominated for film and director. She pointed out that a woman has never won a best director David in the prize’s 66-year history.

Detassis also noted that two female filmmakers scored in the first-time director category: Ginevra Elkann for divorce dramedy “If Only” and Alice Filippi for teen romcom “Out of My League.”

The acting category sees Sophia Loren among nominees for Netflix Italian Original “The Life Ahead,” which is also nominated in the original song category, for “Io Sì” (Seen), written by Diane Warren, and co-written and performed by Laura Pausini. “Io Sì” (Seen) also has an Oscar nom.

Due to the pandemic, films that skipped theatrical were allowed to participate in the Davids race this year. There was a record-breaking percentage of voters, 91% out of the 1,578 members of the David di Donatelli Academy cast their ballots.

The 66th David di Donatello awards will be announced on May 11 during a mostly in person ceremony aired live on pubcaster RAI.