Director Carlo Lizzani has died after reportedly falling from the balcony of his home in Rome, Italy. News of the 91 year old's death was reported by Italian media outlets on Saturday (05Oct13), with local news agencies suggesting authorities are investigating whether it was a suicide.
Lizzani directed the 1968 film The Violent Four and served as head of the prestigious Venice Film Festival for four years, while also collaborating with fellow directors including Jean-Luc Godard, Bernardo Bertolucci and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
He was also nominated for an Academy Award as the screenwriter for Giuseppe De Santis' 1950 film Bitter Rice, and he was given a writing credit for Roberto Rossellini's Germany Year Zero.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, a friend of Lizzani's for decades, has paid tribute to the director, praising his contributions to "cinema, to culture and to the democratic development of our country".
Directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Tornatore and Gabriele Salvatores are set to go head-to-head at Italy's David di Donatello Awards after each landing nominations for two top honours. The filmmakers, all previous Oscar winners, will duke it out for Best Director, while Bertolucci's Me and You, Tornatore's The Best Offer, and Siberian Education by Salvatores are in the running for Best Film.
Daniele Vicari's drama Diaz will also compete in both Italian film categories.
Best European Film will be a fight between Armour, Anna Karenina, Rust and Bone, Quartet and Bond epic Skyfall, while Argo, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln and Life of Pi - which were all shortlisted for this year's (13) Best Picture Oscar - will do battle for Best Non-European Film.
The winners will be announced at a prizegiving on 14 June (13).