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The David di Donatello Award, named after Donatello's David, is a film award presented each year for cinematic performances and production by L'accademia del Cinema Italiano (ACI) (The Academy of Italian Cinema). There are 24 categories as of 2006. Italy is also famed for its annual Venice Film Festival.

David di Donatello Awards
David di Donatello miglior canzone originale- Alessandro Nelson Garofalo.jpg
A David di Donatello awarded in 2014
Awarded for The best of Italian and foreign motion picture productions
Date 1955
Country Italy
Presented by Accademia del Cinema Italiano (Academy of Italian Cinema)
First awarded 1956

It is the motion picture equivalent to the Academy Award for the cinema, Premio Regia Televisiva for television, the Premio Ubu for stage performances, and the Sanremo Music Festival for music.



Following the same criteria of the Oscars, the David di Donatello Awards (known by the moniker "Donatellos"[1]) were established in 1955 and first awarded in Rome on July 5, 1956.[2] Created by a cultural club (then called The Open Gate), the aim was to honour the best of each year's Italian and foreign films.

Similar prizes had already existed in Italy for about a decade (for example, the Silver Ribbons), but these were voted for by film critics and journalists. However, the Donatellos have been and are awarded by the people in the industry: screenwriters, performers, technicians, producers and so on.

The Italian former President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi shows the prize received at the occasion of the awards ceremony in 2005

After Rome, from 1957 to 1980, the ceremonies were held at the Greek Theatre in Taormina, during Taormina Film Fest, then twice in Florence, and finally returned to Rome, always with the support of the President of the Republic and now with the collaboration of the Rome City Council Cultural Policies Department. During the years the ceremony was held in Taormina during the 1950s, it was organized by journalist and film producer Michael Stern who later went on to found The Michael Stern Parkinson's Research Foundation in New York City.

The founding organization, now called the David di Donatello Organization is fully functional and works in concert with and thanks to the contribution of the Italian Ministry of the Performing Arts and the Ministry for Cultural Properties and Activities.

The presidents have successively been Italo Gemini (the founder), Eitel Monaco and Paolo Grassi. Currently, it is presided over by Gian Luigi Rondi who has worked with the organization since its inception.

The prizes are awarded primarily to Italian films, with a category dedicated to foreign language films.

In 2015, it was announced that both the eligibility period and the award ceremony date would change in the coming years. In 2016, the ceremony was brought forward to April. For the 2017 ceremony, the eligibility period will be March–December 2016. For the 2018 edition, the eligibility period will be the 2017 solar year (January to December).[3][4]


President Beginning of mandate End of mandate Notes
Italo Gemini 1955 1970
Eitel Monaco 1971 1977
Paolo Grassi 1978 1980
Gian Luigi Rondi 1981 September 22, 2016 President to Life since November 25, 2009
Giuliano Montaldo November 4, 2016 December 31, 2017 President ad interim since November 4, 2016
Piera Detassis January 1º, 2018 Incumbent Elected President and Artistic Director on December 14, 2017


The trophy is in the form of a gold David statuette replica of Donatello's famous sculpture, on a square malachite base with a gold plaque recording the award category, year and winner.

The 1956 David by Bulgari, awarded to Gina Lollobrigida for Beautiful but Dangerous was auctioned at Sotheby's in 2013.[5]

Award categoriesEdit

Retired awardsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Oscar's Foreign Cousins". Variety. Variety Media. December 9, 1998. Retrieved March 26, 2016. 
  2. ^ Laviosa, Flavia (January 29, 2015). "David di Donatello 1956–2016: Sixty Years of Awards" [Call for Papers] (PDF). Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies. Intellect. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  3. ^ "David di Donatello, cambiano le date per il 2016 e il 2017 – LoudVision". Retrieved October 26, 2016. 
  4. ^ "David di Donatello: cambiano le date". Retrieved October 26, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Gold and malachite 'David'". Sotheby's. 

External linksEdit