Paolo Sorrentino receives A Tribute To… Award

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The Italian director and screenwriter Paolo Sorrentino was honoured with the 17th Zurich Film Festival’s highest accolade for an auteur filmmaker, the A Tribute To… Award. The Oscar-winner accepted the Golden Eye in person on Wednesday evening and thanked the Festival for the honour. Following this, his latest work È STATA LA MANO DI DIO celebrated its Premiere in the German-speaking realm.    

The highest accolade bestowed on auteur filmmakers by the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) was presented on Wednesday evening to Paolo Sorrentino at the Premiere of his new feature film È STATA LA MANO DI DIO (THE HAND OF GOD) at the Corso cinema.

The filmmaker felt honoured by the award: “I shot two of my films, THE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE and YOUTH, here in Switzerland – the calm beauty and mystery of this country will always be appealing to me as a director. So I am honoured and grateful to be part of ZFF Masters and to receive the A Tribute To… Award from Zurich Film Festival. This honour is an unexpected surprise and a wonderful recognition. I am very happy, thank you,” said Sorrentino.

Born in Naples in 1970, Sorrentino’s films have been delighting critics and filmmakers alike for 20 years. The auteur garnered international renown with the drama THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (2011), which screened at the 7th ZFF, and the critically acclaimed LA GRANDE BELLEZZA (THE GREAT BEAUTY, 2013), which brought him an Oscar. Sorrentino’s LORO (2018) also screened at the 14th ZFF.

“The name Sorrentino was at the very top of my wish list,” said Festival Director Christian Jungen about the selection for this year’s A Tribute To… Award. “After I saw LE CONSEGUENZE DELL’AMORE in 2004, Sorrentino has been one of my favourite auteurs.” Jungen called Sorrentino the true successor to Fellini: “An auteur filmmaker with an unmistakable handwriting who understands film as both art and a means of social criticism. He captures the spirit of Italy with an anthropological eye, working with exaggerations and digressions to distort reality to the point of recognizability.”

Sorrentino’s latest work È STATA LA MANO DI DIO (THE HAND OF GOD) – his most personal film to date – was shown at the 17th ZFF as a Gala Premiere following the Award ceremony. The strongly autobiographical coming-of-age story is set in the Naples of his youth: in it, Sorrentino recounts how football star Diego Maradona saved his life and how he became a director himself.

The ZFF continues to show further directorial works by Paolo Sorrentino in a comprehensive Retrospective that runs until October 3.

With the A Tribute to… Award, ZFF recognises auteur filmmakers for their contribution to film history. Previous award winners include Wim Wenders, Olivier Assayas, Claire Denis, Michael Haneke, Oliver Stone and Maïwenn.

The full programme and tickets for the 17th Zurich Film Festival (Sept. 23-Oct. 3) are available on the ZFF website.

The Festival Centre is open for tickets and information. Tickets can also be purchased on the ZFF website and from the ticket booth at Paradeplatz, at blue Cinema Corso and the ticket booth at Sihlcity.

Paolo Sorrentino accepts his A Tribute To… Award © Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF

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