Sophia Loren to get award from Oscar Academy Museum

Italian diva hopeful of Oscar nod for her lead role in The Life Ahead.

Oscar-winning Italian actress Sophia Loren is to be honoured by the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the long-awaited Los Angeles venue set to open later this year.

Loren will receive the inaugural 'Visionary Award' from the Academy's new museum, alongside Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima who will be presented with the 'Vantage Award.'

The news comes days before the nominations for the Oscars are revealed, with Italy hopeful that Loren will get the nod for her lead role as Madame Rosa in La Vita Davanti a Sé (The Life Ahead) directed by her son Edoardo Ponti.

Sophia Loren in La Vita Davanti a Sé

The Visionary Award acknowledges an “extensive body of work [that] has advanced the art of cinema,” stated the museum, which added that the new awards “reflected its mission to celebrate and advance the understanding of the diverse and varied stories of cinema and cinematic artists.”

Last month there was surprise in Italy when Loren failed to receive a Golden Globe nomination for her role in The Life Ahead, however there was celebration on 1 March when singer Laura Pausini won a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song - Motion Picture, for Io sì (Seen) from the movie's soundrack.

Dedicating her victory to Italy, Pausini also paid tribute to Loren: "All my gratitude and respect for the wonderful Sophia Loren, it was an honour to give voice to your character, to convey such an important message, of welcome and unity."

Loren is set to receive the award on 25 September during a gala event at the Los Angeles museum whose opening has been stalled several times due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The seven-storey building, designed by celebrated Italian architect Renzo Piano, is located on the 'Miracle Mile' and is due to open to the public five days after the ribbon is cut, on 30 September.

Sophia Loren won an Oscar for La Ciociara

The Visionary Award will be the latest in a string of accolades won by the veteran Italian actress, who will turn 87 a few days before the ceremony in Los Angeles.

Her performance as Cesira in the 1961 movie La Ciociara (Two Women), directed by Vittorio De Sica, earned her an Oscar for Best Actress, making her the first actor or actress to win an Oscar for a foreign-language performance.

She has won six David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress, a Grammy Award, five special Golden Globes, and in 1991 she received an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement.

Loren also has the distinction of being the only living actress listed in the American Film Institute's top 25 greatest female screen legends.