Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
News Release: January 28, 2009
Italian Screenwriter Suso D’amico to Receive WGAW’s Inaugurual Jean Renoir Award

LOS ANGELES -- Legendary Italian screenwriter Suso D’Amico has been chosen as the first recipient of the WGAW’s newly created Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement. D’Amico is credited with writing more than 100 films, including The Bicycle Thief, Rocco and His Brothers, and Big Deal on Madonna Street. Named after the immortal filmmaker Renoir, who wrote almost all of his films, the lifetime achievement award will be given on an occasional basis to honor screenwriters working outside the U.S. and in other languages.

“Renoir used to say ‘everyone has his reasons.’ No other observation, it seems to me, has said more about the way to view humanity or suggested a better way for writers to humanize their creations,” said screenwriter Robert Towne, who served on the Guild committee which established the new international award. “Renoir was that rarest of beings, a great artist and a great teacher. And though Suso D'Amico has famously referred to herself as an artisan not an artist, may this award help disabuse her of that notion. My heartfelt congratulations to Ms. D'Amico.”

“We felt that Ms. D’Amico deserved this honor for The Bicycle Thief alone,” commented WGAW Board of Directors member Nicholas Kazan, who also served on the committee. “In light of her astonishing list of credits, our only regret is that we can’t give it to her twice.”

Along with other honorees, D’Amico will be feted at the 2009 Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 7, 2009, in Los Angeles.

Nominated for an Academy Award in 1966 for her screenplay for Casanova ’70 (shared with Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli, Mario Monicelli, Tonino Guerra, and Giorgio Salvioni), D’Amico has previously earned David di Donatello Awards for Best Screenplay for Speriamo che sia femmina (Let’s Hope It’s a Girl, 1986, shared with Tullio Pinelli, Mario Monicelli, Leonardo Benvenuti, and Piero De Bernardi) and Il Male oscuro (The Obscure Illness, 1990, shared with Tonino Guerra), as well as receiving a Special David Award in 1980 and a 50th Anniversary Special David Award in 2006, as well as the Luchino Visconti Award, a special honor given on the tenth anniversary of Visconti’s death.

Over the past six decades, D’Amico has garnered a stunning eight Silver Ribbon Awards for her screenwriting work from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, including shared nods for Il Male oscuro (The Obscure Illness, 1991), L’Inchiesta (The Inquiry, 1987), Speriamo che sia Femmina (Let’s Hope It’s a Girl, 1986), Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers, 1960), La Sfida (The Challenge) and I Soliti ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street, 1959, tied that year), E primavera… (It’s Forever Springtime, 1950), Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thief, 1949), and Vivere in pace (To Live in Peace, 1947). D’Amico has also received a pair of honorary awards from the Venice Film Festival for lifetime achievement: the Career Golden Lion in 1994 and the Pietro Bianchi Award in 1993. D’Amico’s other writing credits include writing or co-writing classic Italian films such as Bruno Is Waiting on the Car, Private Affairs, History, White Nights, Husbands in the City, The Anatomy of Love, and Red Shirts, as well as television miniseries including Jesus of Nazareth and The Adventures of Pinocchio.

The Guild’s inaugural Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement is given to “that international writer who has advanced the literature of motion pictures through the years and who has made outstanding contributions to the profession of screenwriter.”

The 93-year-old D’Amico will not be traveling to Los Angeles. Instead, she will receive her WGAW honorary award next month at a ceremony in Rome sponsored by Medusa Film S.p.A.

The 2009 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 7, 2009, at simultaneous ceremonies at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and the Hudson Theatre at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City.

For more information about the 2009 Writers Guild Awards submission process, guidelines, and official entry forms, please visit or

For media inquiries about the 2009 Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles show, please contact Gregg Mitchell in the WGAW Communications Dept. at: (323) 782-4574, email: Gregg Mitchell.

For media inquiries about the 2009 Writers Guild Awards New York show, please contact Sherry Goldman in the WGAE Public Relations Dept. at (718) 224-4133 or email: Sherry Goldman.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news.