Cultured Focus Magazine held its star-studded Cultured Focus Awards Ceremony and Diversity in Film Symposium at 2:30 pm at Hotel Danieli, Venice, Italy, on Monday, September 5, 2022.
After a distinguished and prolific career spanning fifty years of theatre, film, and television, the revered Italian actor Pino Calabrese was presented with the Cultured Focus Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony.
Mr. Calabrese’s illustrious career in the performing arts began in 1972 in the theater, working with professionals like Massimo Troisi, Gigi Proietti, Enrico Montesano, Pippo Delbono, and many others. Calabrese’s skills evolved, ranging from cabaret and musical works to dramatic and comedic theater, to productions with social and political content.
His film work in 2018’s “Breaths” gained him an award at the 2019 Sorrento Film Festival.
During the ceremony, Calabrese stated: “I would like to imagine a future in which each person could be represented on screen. Diversity is wealth, we should never forget it.”
Also recognized was Evgeny Afineevsky, who already has Oscar and Emmy nominations under his belt. This director and producer was awarded the Excellence in Film award. Afineevsky’s masterful documentaries dive into the lives and stories of ordinary people to give them a voice. His highly regarded films explore the freedom and dignity of people amid conflicts. These films include: “Winter on Fire” and “Cries from Syria.” He has also created “Francesco,” on the life and teachings of Pope Francis. His current film “Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” will premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival. In attendance with him was journalist and lead star from the film Natalia Nagorna, who told of the harrowing tales and difficulties that the Ukrainian people face. Afineevsky reiterated the need for all voices to be heard, especially today.
Daphne Di Cinto, who attended the Actors Studio Drama School, not only acted the part of the Duchess of Hastings in the Netflix series Bridgerton but is also an esteemed screenwriter, director, and producer. Her highly acclaimed short film “IL MORO” (THE MOOR), was screened during the event and left the audience in awe and admiration.
She received the Cultured Focus Visionary in Film award. The work has already won many accolades including, most recently, Best Director of a Foreign Short Film at the Madrid International Film Festival 2022.
Ainslee Alem Robson received the Cultured Focus Innovation in Film Award. Robson had already been awarded the Special Jury Prize for Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR at the New Images Festival in Paris, among other awards. Her film KANDAKA was featured as part of the 79th Venice International Film Festival. The film focuses on a female African ruler that led her people into war with the Romans. Her combined backgrounds in philosophy and new media render a critical approach to her emancipatory narrative strategies. Through a transcultural, feminist, and first-generation American lens, she crafts worlds focusing on decolonization narratives that deconstruct identity, perception, hierarchy and colonial legacies, using film and emerging technologies in digital art to convey her message.
Artist and Professor Justin Randolph Thompson spoke of of Black History Month Florence as its’ co-founder and director. He also spoke broadly on initiatives to enhance the narrative of black history through education.
The Cultured Focus Symposium on Diversity in Film was led by award-winning actress and writer Francesca Van Horne who flawlessly moderated the talented panel of industry leaders.
Other celebrity guests in attendance included members of Il Moro’s talented cast including Alberto Boubakar Malanchino, Andrea Melis, Lorenzo Tronconi, Loretta Grace, Ira Fronten, Aida Diouf, Judith Saint Jermain, Cecilia De Pasquale, and Charity Dago. The event was hosted by film producer Taylor Re Lynn.
Cultured Focus is an entertainment news magazine that provides up-to-date news about both American and global art and culture. Founded in 2016, the magazine showcases top talent from all corners of the globe, including A-list celebrities, corporate leaders, and many others making a positive impact in the world.
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