Originally created 04/15/04

Steven Spielberg honored by Italian President



ROME -- Filmmaker Steven Spielberg received Italy's highest decoration Wednesday for his work in preserving the history of the Holocaust through film and documentary.

President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi awarded Spielberg the Cavaliere di Gran Croce, and praised his planned documentary built around the testimony of hundreds of Italian Jews who survived the Holocaust.

Ciampi called Spielberg "a master of filmmaking and of the worldwide industry of dreams and realities."

Spielberg's Oscar-winning "Schindler's List" told the wartime story of 1,100 Jews and an industrialist who saved them. After that, the director founded the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation to gather videotaped testimony of Holocaust survivors.

Later Wednesday, Spielberg was to receive a special David di Donatello award, Italy's foremost movie prize.

On the Net:

http://www.vhf.org/