Festival News

34th Starz Denver Film Festival To Award Massimo Natale With the Maria & Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award

Presented by the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation

The 34th Starz Denver Film Festival (SDFF) has selected Italian  writer and director, Massimo Natale, as the recipient of the third annual Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award. The award, which includes a honorarium of $10,000 will be presented at the screening of Martino's Summer, November 4 at 7:15pm at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. The Anna & John J. Sie Foundation has sponsored the Italian Filmmaker Award at SDFF for the past three years.


Martino's Summer, which is Natale's first feature film, debuted at the Rome International Film Festival in October 2010, racking up other festival dates as well as awards soon after its premiere. A Q&A with Natale will follow the screening at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax.


The Maria and Tomasso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award, funded through the endowment from the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation and named for Anna Sie's parents, recognizes the best in contemporary Italian cinema.


"We are so honored for the Sie's continued support and bringing the best of new Italian film to Denver," said Tom Botelho, Denver Film Society Executive Director. "The generosity of the Sie's makes it possible for us to showcase such an array of filmmakers each year and recognize deserving artists, such as Mr. Natale."


Massimo Natalespent two decades as a promoter in theater, film, music, and television before directing his first feature, Help Me Help Me Help in 2001. In 2006-2007, he pulled off a smash adaptation of Notting Hill, which was his second screen-to-stage success; he also directed the highly acclaimed theatrical production of the Bogart-Hepburn classic, Sabrina at the Borgio Verezzi Festival. 


Natale began working in film in 2007, writing and directing the short Girl Friends, which screened at numerous film festivals around the world and received support from Italy's Ministry of Culture.


Martino's Summer takes place in the summer of 1980, a bloody one, marked by the downing of a DC9 plane in the skies over Ustica and the terrorist bombing of a Bologna train station. These two tragic events frame the relationship of an Italian boy named Martino and Clark, an American Army Captain stationed in Ustica. A father-son bond develops as each finds how much can be learned from the other despite the barriers of language and age.

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