Multi-awarded Gomorrah at the European Film Academy Festival. Next Step: Oscar Ceremony in Los Angeles
Matteo Garrone’s movie won five prizes at the European Film Academy Awards 2008 in Copenhagen, including best picture, best director, best screenplay, best cinematography and best actor. Matteo Garrone, the awarded director, dedicated his prize to “all the people that fight every day against organized criminality in Naples”.
Sponsored by the production house Fandango and Rai Cinema with the collaboration of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Gamorra has already won the Gran Prix at Cannes Festival. The movie was inspired by Roberto Saviano’s eponymous international bestseller, a gripping realistic recount of the decline of Naples under the rule of Camorra families. These crime groups constitute together an organized network that controls many industries on an international basis, including construction, high fashion, illicit drugs, and toxic-waste disposals.
“Il Divo”, another Italian movie, was also candidate for the Best European Picture Award, but it didn’t make it: “it was not a competition: my movie lost right from the beginning, nobody can win against Gomorrah”, said director Paolo Sorrentino. His picture garnered one only prize, in conjunction with the Garrone’s: Toni Servillo, awarded for Best First Actor, plays in both of them “Interpreting both roles has not been hard at all. In fact I didn’t decide to play the two characters at the same time by chance. I loved working for both directors,
maybe because the three of us share the same interests, cultural background and aim: to produce realist movies, of the kind that can recount the difficulties of every-day life from a very personal and determined point of view."
Gomorrah’s international fame grows constantly, although the movie was probably first conceived only for the Italian public. "The thing that really shocked me when I was shooting the movie in Naples– said Garrone – was the people’s unawareness of how Comorra was controlling the world around them. They just don’t understand how bad their condition is. The prize I am receiving now, on the other hand, is very important for me: it shows that the movie transmits great and deep emotions also to the non-Italian audience. And this is the reason why I decided to direct Gomorrah: I thought that the battle against Comorra can be won only if the number of willing fighters multiplies. That is the aim I am t
rying to reach. And the success that both the book and the movie have obtained confirms that our fellow Italians are beginning and willing to get the message. But I can not do anymore than this: I am expecting politicians and government representatives to take over and help us fulfill this goal and dream”.
The movie is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at 2009 Oscars. Italy has 13 best foreign film winners up until now - more than any other country -- but none in the past decade, since Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful" took home the prize after receiving the Grand Prix at Cannes. Here we hope that history repeats itself.