Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
 
News Release: January 24, 2011

Legendary Italian Screenwriter Tonino Guerra Named 2011 Jean Renoir Award Honoree 

LOS ANGELES -- Iconic Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2011 Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement, given to an international writer who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of screenwriter. Along with other Guild honorees, Guerra will be feted at the 2011 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2011, in Hollywood.

In creative collaboration with some of the most prominent directors in world cinema, including Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Andrey Tarkovsky, Francesco Rosi, and Theodoros Angelopoulos, prolific screenwriter, author, poet, and artist Guerra has penned over 100 screenplays during a career spanning six decades.

“Tonino Guerra is by any standard one of the great writers of our times. His medium is the screenplay. He has written or co-written more than a hundred films, among them L'avventura, La notte, L'eclisse, Red Desert, Blow-Up, and Zabriskie Point for Antonioni; Amarcord for Fellini; Nostalghia for Tarkovsky; Landscapes in the Mist for Angelopoulos; and Exquisite Corpses for Rosi. Guerra's work is the brave and moral thread that runs through the fabric of modernist cinema. He is a breathtaking poet, a generous collaborator, and is possessed of the largest heart. We are fortunate to have him among us and thrilled to honor his astonishing –- and astonishingly influential –- body of work,” said WGAW Board of Directors member Howard A. Rodman.

Born on March 16, 1920, in Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna, Italy, Guerra’s early passion for writing led him to author several short stories, poems, and novels. He began his screenwriting career with 1956’s Man and Wolves (co-written by Elio Petri), later penning the romantic drama L’avventura (co-written by Guerra, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Elio Bartolini). L’avventura launched his longtime collaboration with director Antonioni, which continued with acclaimed screenplays for the films La notte (co-written by Guerra, director Antonioni, and Ennio Flaiano), L’eclisse (co-written by Guerra, director Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, and Ottierio Ottieri), Red Desert (co-written by Guerra and director Antonioni), Blow-Up (co-written by Guerra and director Antonioni, with English dialogue by Edward Bond, based on the short story Las babas del Diablo by Julio Cortazar), and Zabriskie Point (co-written by Guerra, director Antonioni, Franco Rossetti, Sam Shepard, and Clare Peploe).

A creative descendent of the Italian neorealist school, Guerra’s notable screenwriting and co-writing credits also include such classics as: Casanova 70, Lucky Luciano, Three Brothers, Night of the Shooting Stars, And the Ship Sails On, Voyage to Cythera, Chaos, A Place for Lovers, Ginger and Fred, Dark Illness, Especially on Sunday. Stanno tutti bene (They’re All Fine), the 1990 Italian dramedy co-written by screenwriters Guerra & Massimo De Rita & director Guiseppe Tornatore, was recently adapted by writer-director Kirk Jones for the 2009 American remake Everybody’s Fine. In addition, Guerra adapted his own children’s book, Il generale e Buonaparte, for the 2003 animated feature film, Le chien, le general et les oiseaux (The Dog, the General, and the Birds).

Over the course of his career, Guerra has received three Academy Award nominations: for Amarcord (1976, Best Writing, Original Screenplay, shared with Fellini; the film itself took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1975, while Fellini received a Best Director nomination in 1976), Blow-Up (1967, Best Writing, Story, and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen, shared with Antonioni and Bond), and Casanova 70 (1966, shared with co-writers Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli, Mario Monicelli, Giorgio Salvioni, and Suso Cecchi D’Amico). In 1984, Guerra earned a Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his screenplay for Voyage to Cythera, shared with director Theodoros Angelopoulos and Thanassis Valtinos. In 1994, Guerra received the Venice Film Festival’s honorary Pietro Bianchi Award. Most recently, in 2010 Guerra received the “Career David” lifetime achievement award at Italy’s David di Donatello Awards.

While the 90-year-old Guerra will not be traveling to Los Angeles to accept his award, he will receive the Guild’s honorary award next month at his home in Northern Italy.

Named after the influential filmmaker Jean Renoir, the Guild’s lifetime achievement international screenwriting award is given on an occasional basis to honor screenwriters working outside the U.S. and in other languages. In 2009, the WGAW’s inaugural Jean Renoir Award honoree was fellow Italian screenwriter Suso D'Amico, who passed away last year.

For a press photo of Tonino Guerra, please visit the following link: http://press.wgaw.org/photos/Awards/2011%20Writers%20Guild%20Awards/Honoree%20Photos/Tonino_Guerra.JPG.

The 2011 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011, simultaneously at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel-Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles and the AXA Equitable Center in New York City. For more information about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.

For media inquiries about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles show, please contact Gregg Mitchell in the WGAW Communications Department at: (323) 782-4574, email: Gregg Mitchell.

For media press inquiries about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards New York show, please contact Sherry Goldman in the WGAE Press Office at (718) 224-4133 or email: Sherry Goldman.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.