Italian director Lina Wertmuller, the first female director nominated for an Academy Award, will be feted at numerous celebrations during an upcoming trip to Los Angeles, where she is scheduled to receive an honorary Oscar at this year’s Governors Awards on Oct. 27 and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the following day.
In 1976, Wertmuller became the first woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for directing for “Seven Beauties,” for which she also got an original screenplay nod.
Known for focusing on political and social issues, the 90-year-old Italian auteur has written and directed such films as “The Basilisks” (1963), “The Seduction of Mimi” (1972), “Love and Anarchy” (1973) and “Swept Away” (1974).
Wertmuller will make a “special brief introduction” at a 7:30 p.m. screening of “Seven Beauties” on Oct. 25, part of a retrospective of Wertmuller’s films at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre in Santa Monica from Oct. 20-25.
“I can’t wait for fans of the film to have the opportunity to see it fully restored and on the big screen,” Wertmuller said. “I am so grateful to be receiving an honorary Oscar and to everyone who has put together these wonderful celebrations in my honor.”
On Oct. 24, at a private screening of Valerio Ruiz’ documentary “Behind the White Glasses,” the Consul General of Italy, Silvia Chiave, along with the director of the Italian Culture Institute, Valeria Rumori, will present Wertmuller with the IIC Los Angeles Creative Award.
According to Genoma Films — which helped fund the restoration of “Seven Beauties” earlier this year — and the Sardinia Film Commission Foundation, additional private events are being held throughout Wertmuller’s visit, including a special luncheon hosted by Martha De Laurentiis and a “True Italian Taste” gala dinner co-hosted by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West and Italian soccer star Alessandro Del Piero at his Los Angeles restaurant, n10.
Other honorary Oscars this year will be presented to filmmaker David Lynch and actor Wes Studi, while the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will go to actress/activist Geena Davis to honor her efforts on behalf of gender equality.
Honorary Award recipients are honored for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy,” while the Hersholt award is given “to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”
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