James Franco receives the Mimmo Rotella Award at Venice Film Festival

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Actor, Producer, Director James Franco was today awarded the prestigious Mimmo Rotella Award at the 73rd Venice Film Festival for recognition of his work on IN DUBIOUS BATTLE, which just had its World Premiere at this year’s Festival. The award is given each year to a filmmaker who shows an exceptionally strong connection to the arts – Franco’s film is adapted from the John Steinbeck novel of the same name published in 1936.

Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, who produced IN DUBIOUS BATTLE through their prolific AMBI banner, were awarded the Mimmo Rotella Producers Award and accepted on stage with Franco.

The event took place at the Centurion Palace Hotel in Venice. James Franco, Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino were joined at the ceremony by the other movie cast members including Ashley Greene and Austin Stowell and producers Vince Jolivette, Scott Reed and Iris Torres; writer Matthew Rager; director of photography Bruce Thierry Cheung and the film’s composer Hauschka.

The Mimmo Rotella Award was conceived in honor of the late twentieth century art master and poet Domenico “Mimmo” Rotella who looked to deepen the relationship between the visual arts and cinema in his masterpieces. Past recipients of the award include the world renowned: Terry Gilliam, Al Pacino, Berry Levinson, Alexander Sokurov, Johnny Depp, Joao Botelho, Julie Taymore, Takeshi Kitano, Merziyeh Meshkini, Peter Greenaway, Shirin Neshat and Olivier Assayas.

The jury of the XVI edition of the Prize is composed by the President of the Fondazione Mimmo Rotella, Rocco Guglielmo, the Director of the Foundation and creator of the Award, Piero Mascitti, the producer Manuela Cacciamani, the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Moscow, Olga Strada and by the artistic director and the producer of the Award, Gianvito and Alessandro Casadonte.

IN DUBIOUS BATTLE, directed, produced and starring Franco, tells the heart wrenching tale of 900 migratory workers who rise up against the landowners after getting paid a faction of the wages they were promised in the California apple growing country. The group takes on a life of its own—stronger than its individual members and more frightening. Led by the doomed Jim Nolan, the strike is founded on his tragic idealism— the “courage never to submit or yield.” The star studded ensemble cast also includes Nat Wolff, Vincent D’Onofrio, Selena Gomez, Ed Harris, Sam Shepard, John Savage with Robert Duvall and Bryan Cranston.

AMBI Group co-founders Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi and Academy Award® winners Al Pacino and Barry Levinson were awarded the same award at the 71st Venice Film Festival in recognition of their work on “The Humbling,” which also had its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

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