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“Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film

Carlo Mazzacurati (Italy) - President
Since his debut with Notte Italiana (presented in Venice in 1987 and subsequently winner of a Silver Ribbon) Carlo Mazzacurati (1956) has described the suffering and obstinately dignified progress of a humanity in search of an existential redemption, showing himself always responsive to the expressive measure and simplicity of the narrative. After Il prete bello (1989), adapted from Parise’s novel, with Un’altra vita (1992) he explored the dramatic contrast between the opulent Western European society and that of an Eastern Europe with overturned values. The later Il toro (1994) won the Silver Lion and brought its leading actor, Roberto Citran, the Coppa Volpi. In Vesna va veloce (1996), he presented the odyssey of a young Czech girl in Italy, shown against the backdrop of the difficult ethnic and social changes in the north-east, while L’estate di Davide (1998) marked a return to autobiographical themes with the sentimental education of a young boy on holiday in the Polesine. In 2000, with La lingua del santo (2000), he explored a similar theme to that in Il Toro: two destitute men from the Veneto trying to strike lucky. A cavallo della tigre (2002) is an anomalous remake of the 1961 film by Luigi Comencini. In 2004, with L’amore ritrovato, he narrated a delicate matter of adultery and in 2007, mixed mystery, drama and comedy in La giusta distanza, shown against the backdrop of a north-eastern Italy suspended between tradition and change. In 2010 in Venice, he presented La Passione in competition, and out of competition a documentary entitled Sei Venezia.


Aleksei Fedorchenko (Russia)
A director and screenwriter, Fedorchenko was born in 1966 near Orenburg. He made his debut as a director in 2002 with the poignant documentary-interview David, which was screened and won awards at many festivals, including the Anthropological Film Festival in Salekhard (second prize), the Stockholm Film Festival (Grand Prix), the Lubljana Festival (Grand Prix), and the Warsaw Festival (second prize). He then wrote the screenplay for the short film Okhota na zaytsev (2003), directed by Igor Voloshin, which won the Grand Prize at the Mexico International Film Festival in 2004. He made his feature-length film debut with the docu-fiction Pervye na lune (2005), a fantasy epic on the Soviet Moon landing in the Thirties, presented at the 62nd Venice Film Festival, where it won the Orizzonti Prize for Best Documentary; the film later won awards at the Festival in Sochi and at the Cottbus. In 2005 he founded his own production company “February 29th“, with which he produced the feature-length film Železnaya doroga (2006) and the documentaries Shosho (2007) and Veter Šuvgej (2008), in which he began his personal and unusual research into the diverse ethnic groups of the former Soviet Union, which continued in Ovsyanki (2010) inspired by the novel by Denis Osokin and presented in competition at the 67th Venice Film Festival. He is currently making a new film, also inspired by a book written by Osokin.


Fred Roos (USA)
Roos has worked with some of Hollywood’s most gifted filmmakers over the last decades producing some of the most unique films of our time. Roos’ long-term collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola includes producing, among others, the Academy Award-winning Best Picture The Godfather, Part II (1974) and the Academy Award-nominated Best Pictures The Godfather, Part III (1990), The Conversation (winner of the Palm D’Or at Cannes in 1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979). Among Roos’ other producing credits are: Wenders’ Hammett (1982), Nicholson’s Drive, He Said (1971), Schroeder’s Barfly (1987), Chelsom’s Town and Country (2001), Holland’s The Secret Garden (1993), Ballard’s The Black Stallion (1979) and the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (Bahr, Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola, 1991) winner of Cable Ace Award, Best Documentary. Roos co-produced Sofia Coppola’s debut film The Virgin Suicides (1999) and served as Executive Producer on her Lost in Translation (2003), Marie-Antoinette (2006) and Somewhere (2010), winner of the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice Film Festival. Before he began producing films, Roos had a legendary career as a casting director on such films as: The Godfather, American Graffiti (Lucas, 1973), Five Easy Pieces (Rafelson, 1970), The King of Marvin Gardens (Rafelson, 1972), Fat City (Huston,1972), Petulia (Lester, 1968), and Zabriskie Point (Antonioni, 1970). He also served as casting consultant on Star Wars (Lucas, 1977).


Charles Tesson (France)
The new Artistic Director of International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival. He is also a film critic for “Cahiers du cinéma“ where he began in 1979, and is also its former editor (1998-2003). He is professor of Cinema, History and Aesthetics at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris III). He has written several books and essays on cinema, including: Satyajit Ray (1992), Luis Buñuel (1995), El, Luis Buñuel (1996), Photogénie de la Série B (1997), Théâtre et cinéma (2007) and Akira Kurosawa (2008). He has directed some special issues for “Cahiers du cinéma“, such as Made in Hong Kong (1984) with Olivier Assayas and Made in China (1999), and co-edited the book L’Asie à Hollywood (2001).


Serra Yilmaz (Turkey)
Born in Istanbul, Yilmaz made her cinematic debut in 1983 in Atif Yilmaz’s Sekerpare, followed by a series of roles in works by other greats of 1980s Turkish cinema, including Ömer Kavur’s Anayurt oteli, in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 1987. In 1988 she began working as an actor and dramaturge for the City Theatre Company in Istanbul. In 1998, her performance in Ferzan Özpetek’s Harem Suaré garnered her a Best Supporting Actress Award at the Antalya Film Festival and was the beginning of a longstanding working relationship with the director. In 2001 Özpetek directed her in Le fate ignoranti and the following year saw her in Elisabeth Raygaard’s Omfavn mig måne. She won the Best Actress Award both at the Istanbul Festival and the Sadri Alisik Theater and Cinema Awards for her performance in Ümit Ünal’s Dokuz (2002). In 2004 she teamed up with Özpetek once more in La finestra di fronte, which won numerous prizes. In 2005 she performed at the Teatro Rifredi in Florence in L’ultimo Harem – The Last Harem, directed by Angelo Savelli, which enjoyed a successful rerun for seven seasons. In 2010 she played various roles in Sedef Ecer’s Sur le seuil. Yilmaz has combined her film career with working in successful TV series and translating.