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David O. Russell, U2 Kick Off L.A. Italia Fest as Oscar Campaign Winds Down

Russell will be presented with the 2014 L.A. Italia Excellence Award as Filmmaker of the Year

As Oscar voting barrels toward a Tuesday close, an impressive array of contenders – including David O. Russel, U2’s Bono and Steve Coogan – will appear at one of the final events of the awards-campaign season this weekend: The 9th annual L.A. Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest.

Russell, whose “American Hustle” is up for director and best picture Oscars, will be presented with the 2014 L.A. Italia Excellence Award as filmmaker of the year, part of the opening-night program on Sunday at the Hollywood & Highland complex.

“We’re so proud that the Hollywood filmmaking community considers L.A. Italia an important bridge between our two great countries,” said festival founder and producer Pascal Vicedomini. “The caliber of stars and personalities that have come together to kick off our 2014 celebration is truly spectacular.

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U2, nominated for “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” in the best original song category, will also be honored and is expected at the event; as is Coogan, who’s up for co-writing best screenplay nominee “Philomena.”

Soul singer Tata Vega will accept L.A. Italia’s best documentary film awards for the Oscar-nominated “20 Feet From Stardom.” And “The Great Beauty,” Italy’s Oscar-nominated entry as best foreign language film – which has already won Golden Globe and BAFTA awards – will screen on opening night.

L.A. Italia is a sister festival to the Capri Hollywood Film Festival (December) and The Ischia Film Festival (July), also under the domain of Vicedomini.