Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino will be the recipient of the inaugural JACK VALENTI - L.A., ITALIA LEGEND AWARD, it was announced today by noted Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller, honorary chairman of the Istituto Capri nel Mondo, the governing body of the Los Angeles, Italia - Film, Fashion and Art Fest. Named in memory of long-time MPAA president Jack Valenti, it is the festival's highest honor and it will be given annually to an outstanding Italian-American who has made major contributions to the global motion picture industry.
Valenti's daughter Courtenay, executive vice president of production for Warner Bros. Pictures, will present the award to Pacino on February 17th during the festival's opening night ceremonies at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where the 8th edition of L.A., Italia will take place from February 17th through the 23rd, the week preceding the Oscars. The festival is produced by founder Pascal Vicedomini and chaired by Italian-American talent manager and film executive Rick Nicita, with producer Martha De Laurentiis serving as president and producer Mark Canton serving as honorary chair. Madalina Ghenea, the Italian-Romanian supermodel and actress will be Mistress of Ceremonies.
Known for his forceful dramatic presentation, Al Pacino is most closely associated with the roles of Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, as well as Tony Montana of the legendary gangster film Scarface. However, it was his performance as Frank Slade, a blind, retired Lt. Colonel, in Scent of a Woman that won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1993 and a supporting actor nomination in the same year for Glengarry Glen Ross. This came after seven previous Oscar nominations for The Godfather (1973), Serpico (1974), The Godfather: Part II (1975), Dog Day Afternoon (1976), And Justice For All (1980) and Dick Tracy (1990).
Amongst his other awards are five Golden Globes, including the HFPA's Cecil B. DeMille Award (2001), the American Cinematheque Award (2005) and the American Film Institute's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
"One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies," said Lina Wertmuller in making the announcement. "His commitment to acting as a profession and his constant screen dominance has established him as one of the movies' true legends.
There is no one in the world more suitable and deserving to receive the first Jack Valenti - L.A., Italia Legend Award."
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos