Paolo Sorrentino: Starz Denver Film Festival Honor

by Anna Robinson

Paolo Sorrentino to receive Starz Denver Film Festival 2013 honor

Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino will receive the fifth Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award at the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival. Sorrentino will be handed his award prior to the screening of The Great Beauty / La grande bellezza on November 16, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at the Sie FilmCenter. Sponsored by the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, the award, which “recognizes the best in contemporary Italian cinema,” includes a $10,000 honorarium.

Previous recipients of the Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award are Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Massimo Natale, Gianni Di Gregorio, and Federico Bondi.

'The Great Beauty'

The Starz Denver Film Festival press release describes Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty – clearly influenced by Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita – as follows:

Populated by the debauched, disenchanted or simply disinterested elite of Roman society, Sorrentino's latter-day Babylon revolves around Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo). Gambardella is a successful journalist and frustrated former novelist with an acerbic wit and irresistible charm, also known as “the king of the high life.”

The Great Beauty is Italy's submission for the 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. A Q&A with Paolo Sorrentino will follow the screening.

Besides frequent Sorrentino collaborator Toni Servillo, The Great Beauty features Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, Serena Grandi, and Isabella Ferrari.

Paolo Sorrentino

Born in Naples in 1970, Paolo Sorrentino had his first feature, the dramatic comedy One Man Up / L'uomo in più, screened at the Venice Film Festival. Three years later, Sorrentino's The Consequences of Love / Le conseguenze dell'amore premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, eventually winning five David di Donatello Awards (the Italian Oscars): Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor for Toni Servillo, and Best Cinematography.

Sorrentino's next big-screen effort was The Family Friend / L'amico di famiglia (2006), followed by the political comedy Il Divo (2008), a corrosive portrait of former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti that won the Jury Prize at that year's Cannes Film Festival.

More recently, according to the IMDb Paolo Sorrentino is one of the filmmakers directing the various segments in the upcoming omnibus feature Rio, I Love You / Rio, Eu Te Amo. The film's cast includes Rodrigo Santoro, Emily Mortimer, Jason Isaacs, Nadine Labaki, and Wagner Moura.

For a complete schedule of the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival, which runs November 6-17, visit

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