Maestro Michele Placido and Fashion Icon Anna Fendi Awarded Lifetime Achievement

ICFF - Lavazza IncluCity Blog

Maestro Michele Placido and Fashion Icon Anna Fendi Awarded Lifetime Achievement

  • July 25, 2023
Glamorous Closing Wraps 12th Edition with Impressive Results and Over 57k Attendees

Maestro Michele Placido and Fashion Icon Anna Fendi Awarded Lifetime Achievement

Eye for an Eye Crowned Winner of the IncluCity Jury Prize, The Eight Mountains took home the TFCA Award

TORONTO – The Lavazza IncluCity Festival, organized by ICFF, proudly ended its celebrations and announced all of its 2023 edition winners during its closing nights at The Distillery District and the glamorous Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto. Among the most anticipated awards, the festival proudly bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award to two exceptional names in Italian cinema and culture, Maestro Michele Placido and fashion icon Anna Fendi.

Recording its most successful edition yet, the festival showcased the very best of international cinema from over 30 countries, along with all-day programming including live music concerts, performances and dances, panel discussions, and the new edition of the 6ix Art Outdoor with live painting sessions.

Anna Fendi was the protagonist of the Closing Night hosted for the occasion at the TIFF Bell Lightbox with an insightful and inspiring “In Conversation with” organized in collaboration with the Empire Club of Canada and presented by the iconic fashion and lifestyle journalist, Jeanne Beker. The celebrations continued at the Ritz Carlton Hotel for the Closing Gala in which Anna Fendi was bestowed the award for her illustrious career and paramount role in the success and expansion of Fendi, along with her significant contribution to international cinema through costume design.

Michele Placido was also crowned the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award during the showcase of his film Caravaggio’s Shadow at the Distillery District. The prize pays homage to Placido’s enduring legacy and his illustrious career spanning over 4 decades with important accolades, milestones and achievements that shaped and changed the Italian film industry. The renowned actor-director arrived in Toronto with his wife and producer of the movie, Federica Luna Vincenti who was also awarded Best Producer for her paramount role in bringing the film to light. In addition, Placido also took the stage to present Arnoldo Mondadori in Toronto along with the appraised producer, Gloria Giorgianni.

From the horror focus, the Lavazza IncluCity proudly presented acclaimed filmmaker Brandon Cronenberg with the coveted Best Director Award, in recognition of his exceptional work and achievements in his latest body-horror film Infinity Pool. The movie was presented in its uncut version in the suggestive Distillery District, red-lit for the occasion, as the closing of The Dark Side series. In attendance was the director along with the director of photography, Karim Hussain.

As part of the Canadian highlight of the festival, ICFF also awarded Matt Johnson the ICFF Excellence Award for the incredible success and wonderfully executed story of BlackBerry, presented in a celebratory screening on Canada Day along with an In Conversation with the director.

Taking home the much-sought-after IncluCity People’s Choice Award was Sweetwater by Martin Guigui which truly captivated audiences with the awe-inspiring story of Nathaniel Sweetwater Clifton. The ICFF People’s Choice instead went to The First Day of My Life by Paolo Genovese, a captivating and emotional story that delves into the meaning of life, love and loss.

Recording over 57k audience turnout between Toronto and its other cities, and hundreds of thousands of people visiting the activations, art exhibits, and free concerts in the Distillery District, the festival has once again broken its records and raised the bar for all future events.

“With the outdoor festival in Toronto, we’ve solidified our presence in the city as a cultural landmark initiative in the summer calendar, and one of the most unique festivals to bring cinema and cultural celebrations to the Distillery Historic District. The focus was on community, diversity, and shared experiences, and I’m overjoyed that audiences embraced this spirit with open arms and joined the festival in such massive numbers,” commented Cristiano de Florentiis, ICFF Artistic Director.

The various special events and sections of the festival – Official Selection, Architecture & Design, Opera Night, ICFF Champions, Shorts Program, ICFF Art, and The Dark Side – offered audiences a diverse film programme for everyone. One highlight was the brand new horror-thriller section, The Dark Side series, which welcomed three incredible features from Australia, Italy and Canada and created a new thrilling experience for the fan of the genre.

The TFCA – Angela Baldassarre Award was unanimously bestowed by the jury to the breathtaking The Eight Mountains directed by Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch for its touching story, fascinating sceneries and moving dialogues. The TFCA Jury was composed of film journalists and critics Jason Gerber, Rachel West, and Gilbert Seah.

The ambitious IncluCity Jury Prize was awarded to the Chinese film Eye for an Eye directed by Bingjia Yang, in light of its remarkable action sequences, its message of fight, hope, resilience and love, and its inspiring sets that truly set this period piece aside. The IncluCIty Festival Jury was comprised of Michael Patz, Managing Partner at Raven Banner Entertainment, and renowned producers Ericka Nicole Malone (Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story), Moira Romano (Compulsion), and Emanuele ‘Manny’ Danelon (Beacon 23).

Another highlight guest of the 12th edition of the festival was Giacomo Gianniotti presenting the North American Premiere of Diabolik: Ginko Attacks! The film represents the second installment of the Diabolik trilogy directed by the Manetti Brothers, Marco and Antonio Manetti.

Continuing with the awards that marked this edition, Rory Kinnear (Bank of Dave) was declared the winner of the IncluCity Best Actor Award. Kinnear, already celebrated for his extensive career and his interpretation of Tanner in the James Bond movies, impressed audiences and critics alike with his sincere and heartwarming depiction of Dave Fishwick, the man that, against all odds, was able to establish a community bank in Burnley to uplift his local community.

Paola Sini (The Land of Women) was awarded the IncluCity Best Actress for her vivid interpretation of Fidela, a witch by nature, born as the seventh daughter of the family. Set in the 30s in rural Italy, the film recounts the story of a world that finds it difficult to accept women and emancipation, caging them into set roles and denying them freedom.

The ICFF Best Actor Award was bestowed to Lorenzo Richelmy (Diary of Spices) for his captivating depiction of the reserved and enigmatic chef and spice connoisseur, Luca Treves. The film is both a thriller narrative and an intriguing story that follows Luca and the artist, Andreas Dürren-Fischer as they embark on a journey together where the food and mysteries come to play at the table.

The ICFF award for Best Actress instead went to Margherita Buy (The First Day of My Life) for her excellent acting skills and heart-wrenching portrayal of Arianna. No stranger to challenging and complex roles, Buy embraced the story and her character, skillfully bringing to the screen the hardships, fragility, and resilience of a mother coping with the loss of her child.

The IncluCity Festival awarded Best Producer to Emanuela Rossi for her remarkable work in the film The Wedding Days directed by Massimo Venier and starring the iconic trio, Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo. The film, presented on the closing night of the initiative in the Distillery District, was received with uproarious laughter and resounding applause by the audience.

Concluding the award section on a high note, the ICFF Short Film Committee proudly declared Nora Trebastoni’s The Emptiness’ Call as the winner of the 2023 Best Short Film. This captivating short delves into the poignant reality of Mazara del Vallo in Italy, a growing immigration epicentre, unravelling the touching tale of a chance encounter between two women from different cultural backgrounds.

With the curtains now drawn on this year’s edition, the festival bids farewell, leaving behind a trail of cinematic magic and a legacy of diverse and engaging events in its cinematic and cultural village at The Distillery Historic District that will continue next year. As the festival team looks towards the future, plans are already underway for an even more spectacular and enriching experience at the following edition.

The festival’s partnership with Christie®, Philips Hue, Mac Show System and Rogers Communications, ICFF’s Official Communication Sponsor, made it possible for ICFF to enhance its cinematic experience and bring audiences into a world of high-quality images and a carefully curated selection of outdoor screenings.

The festival is proudly supported by the Federal Government, the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates, OCAF, the City of Toronto, and Vaughan Tourism. The ICFF also prides itself on the steadfast support of the Italian Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the Embassy of Italy in Ottawa, the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Toronto and the Italian Trade Agency.


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