Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained had been rumored as a surprise addition to November’s Rome Film Festival, but it never materialized on the roster. In October, fest director Marco Mueller told Reuters, “You will see Tarantino soon, here. You will see him here soon for a big surprise… You will see that Django will be stepping on the stage of the auditorium.” Fast-forward a couple of months and the fest now plans to honor Tarantino with a Lifetime Achievement Award on January 4 at a gala Django screening. (Although the 7th Rome Film Festival concluded on November 17, the honor will evidently act as an extension of that edition). Composer Ennio Morricone will present the award to Tarantino. A press release follows:

The 7th Rome Film Festival (Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma) will confer its Lifetime Achievement Award to Quentin Tarantino. The American director, screenwriter, actor, and producer, winner of an Oscar® for Pulp Fiction, the author of extraordinary works such as Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill:Vol.1, Kill Bill:Vol.2 and Inglourious Basterds, will receive the award on January 4th on the occasion of the gala screening of the new film he has written and directed, Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Di Caprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington. The celebrated film-composer Ennio Morricone will be presenting the award to the director.

“Quentin Tarantino’s vision has radically influenced our collective imagery over the past twenty years – explains Marco Müller, artistic director of the Rome Film Festival – Tarantino is a profoundly American yet very European filmmaker, because the relationship he has established with cinema and its history is as analytical as it is passionate. He has cultivated a coherent project of mise-en-scene, an authorial project that has grown richer thanks, to his experimentation with language and also to constant cinematic cross-references. As a result his films are both alive and vivacious to the extreme, they blast away the codes and conventions of film genres but each of them does express the spirit of his time”.

In Quentin Tarantino’s explosive new film, Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a plantation slave who partners with Christoph Waltz’s (Inglourious Basterds) bounty hunter to seek vengeance on his former owners and rescue his wife (Kerry Washington). One of the most eagerly anticipated releases of the season, the film also stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the villainous plantation owner, Calvin Candie, and Samuel L. Jackson as Candie’s trusted house-servant, Stephen. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained is produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, and Pilar Savone. The executive producers are Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Michael Shamberg, Shannon McIntosh, and James Skotchdopole.

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