Stefania Sandrelli to host the awards ceremony of the 64th Venice Film Festival and the 75th anniversary celebrations

Stefania SandrelliStefania Sandrelli (Golden Lion for lifetime achievement in Venice in 2005), one of the most loved and sought-after Italian actresses of all time, inspiring muse of many of the most important Italian directors, an actress whose career has often followed the history of the Festival step by step (many of the films she has appeared in were shown in Venice, from Partner by Bernardo Bertolucci, to A Talking PictureUm filme falado – by Manoel de Oliveira, from Son and DaughtersFigli/Hijos – by Marco Bechis, to Te lo leggo negli occhi by Valia Santella), will host the closing ceremony of the 64th Venice Film Festival, to be held on 8th Septemberin the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema. She will be accompanied by La Biennale di Venezia’s President, Davide Croff, and the 64th Venice Film Festival Director, MarcoMüller.

The evening’s events include the announcement of the Official Prizes for the 2007 edition, and also the awarding of the 75th anniversary Golden Lion to Bernardo Bertolucci, who Sandrelli worked with on Partner (1968), The Conformist (Il conformista, 1970), 1900 (Novecento, 1976) and Stealing Beauty (Io ballo da sola, 1996). The awards ceremony will be followed by the screening of Blood Brothers (Tiantang kou) by Alexi Tan, Out of Competition.

Biographical notes:

Over the course of a prestigious career spanning almost forty-five years (she made her debut in 1961 in Il federale by Luciano Salce), Stefania Sandrelli became a muse for some of the greatest directors, incarnating a traditional, but at the same time modern, feminine ideal. Her unforgettable range of characters proved her to be, season after season, one of the most versatile, instinctive and rounded actresses in Italian film-making. Winning a beauty contest in her native city Viareggio at a very young age, she made her debut with a small part in Il federale (1961) by Luciano Salce. She was discovered by Pietro Germi in the same year, who chose her for the part of the naïve seductress Angela in Divorce – Italian Style (Divorzio all’italiana). The role brought to light her innate instinct and her serene and unflappable elegance, just slightly offset by a restless sensitivity. For Germi, her Pygmalion, she would also play the role of Agnese in Seduced and Abandoned (Sedotta e abbandonata, 1964), where the archaic legacy lingering in Italy during the post-war boom once again became the subject of a caustic social satire. But it was particularly in the crepuscular I Knew Her Well (Io la conoscevo bene, 1965) by Antonio Pietrangeli, in which she played the role of Adriana, a young girl infatuated with the idea of quick success, that she revealed innate qualities of introspection and expressiveness. In 1969 she won Best Actress award at the San Sebastiàn Festival for her role as Gemma in the film The Bandit (L’amante di Gramigna) by Carlo Lizzani,. Her classic yet original features and her languid and lazy way of moving are found in all of the women she incarnated for Bernardo Bertolucci: Clara in Partner (1968), Giulia in The Conformist (Il conformista, 1970), Anita in 1900 (Novecento, 1976). These were the years of her most difficult roles, when she became the diva of auteurs such as Ettore Scola, who chose her for the leading role in the ironic and melancholy We All Loved Each Other So Much (C’eravamo tanto amati), in which she played Luciana, the woman with whom former partisans Antonio (Nino Manfredi), Nicola (Stefano Satta Flores) and Gianni (Vittorio Gassman) fall madly in love. She played the part of a communist bureaucrat’s lover in Ettore Scola’s musical The Terrace (La Terrazza, 1980), a role that won her the Nastro d’Argento for best supporting actress. During the Eighties she had some extremely diverse roles, starting with The Key (La Chiave, 1983) by Tinto Brass, a film in which she displayed a new and sensual vitality; the lively Lolli in Let’s Hope It’s a Girl (Speriamo che sia femmina, 1986) by Mario Monicelli, followed by the caring Beatrice in The family (La Famiglia, 1987) by Ettore Scola, the sweet and understanding mother in Mignon Has Come to Stay (Mignon è partita, 1988) by Francesca Archibugi, which won her a David di Donatello award for best female actress. Unrestrained once again in Jamon Jamon (1992) by Bigas Luna, she worked with Ettore Scola again in The Dinner (La Cena, 1998). In The Last Kiss (L’ultimo bacio, 2001) by Gabriele Muccino, in which she played a dissatisfied sixty-year-old, she began a new phase in her career, focusing on restless and subtle roles such as the wife of the Argentine torturer in Son and Daughters (Figli/Hijos, 2001) by Marco Bechis or the former model Francesca in A Talking Picture (Um filme falado, 2003) by Manoel de Oliveira, shown at the Venice Film Festival. Her most recent role is that of a disheartened singer, in Te lo leggo negli occhi (2004), the full-length feature debut by young director Valia Santella,  shown in Venice last year. In 2005, the Venice Film Festival awarded the actress a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement, handed to her by her daughter, Amanda. As the 64th Venice Film Festival Director, Marco Müller, stated: “a modern but never modernist actress, Stefania represents the best of what contemporary Italian cinema has been able to offer”. In 2006, she also received the Nastro d’Onore and Globo d’Oro alla Carriera on behalf of the foreign press in Italy, while in 2007 she won the Premio Internazionale Flaiano alla Carriera.

Venice, 20 August 2007