Telecom Italia and The Film Foundation, whose president is Martin Scorsese, are presenting two films - Harold Godsoe´s "Santa Lucia Luntana" (1931) and Bruno Valletty´s "The Movie Actor" (1932) - which have been specially restored by the George Eastman House of Rochester.
These two films are rare examples of Italo-American movies made to make up for the lack of Italian-made talking pictures in the United States at the beginning of the 1930s. Without the Foundation and the support of Telecom Italia, they would have been lost forever. "Santa Lucia Luntana" and "The Movie Actor" are being shown today, as part of the 58th International Venice Film Festival.
The Film Foundation was set up to preserve films from the past. Supporters include extremely well-known filmmakers Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg. Stanley Kubrick was also a member of this organization, whose purpose is to raise money to preserve films that time and negligence would otherwise have destroyed.
Telecom Italia is also behind another initiative at the 58th International Venice Film Festival - of which it is an official sponsor this year: the company is putting up the prize money for the Lion of the Year award, given for the Cinema of the Present competition.
The prize, presented by a special jury composed of editors from the international cinematic press to the best film in competition, is a cheque for US$100,000, offered by Telecom Italia which will be shared by the director and producer of the winning film.