As part of the eighth annual Los Angeles, Italia-Film, Fashion and Arts Fest, renowned theater and film actor Al Pacino will be receiving the fest’s newest and highest honor: the Jack Valenti — L.A., Italia Legend Award.
Named after former MPAA president Jack Valenti, who helped pioneer the first movie ratings system, the award is set to be given each year to an Italian-American who “has made major contributions to the global motion pictures industry.”
According to a press release, the festival itself serves as a celebration of Italian cinema. This year alone will feature approximately 40 of the most acclaimed contemporary Italian movies, documentaries and video-concert performances as well as photographic exhibitions and fashion conferences. This year’s program will also include a special tribute to “Spaghetti Western.” There are planned screenings for several such films that inspired Quentin Tarantino’s recent Django Unchained.
Pacino will receive his award on Feb. 17 during the festival’s opening night ceremonies at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Jack Valenti’s daughter Courtenay, now a vice president of production at Warner Bros., will present the award.
The announcement was made by Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller, who serves as the honorary chair on the festival’s governing body. No stranger to honors herself, Lina Wertmüller was the first woman to ever be nominated for an Best Directing Oscar (for her 1976 film Seven Beauties).
“One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film’s greatest decades, the 1970s, and as become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies,” Wertmuller said in a press release 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.”