By  on January 13, 2006

MILAN — A longtime big-screen favorite, Fendi is tweaking its cinematic roots.

For the first time, the Roman luxury goods house will host the opening ceremony of the Nastri d'Argento, Italy's primary film event, in its remodeled Palazzo Fendi. The event takes place Saturday.

The nominees for the various categories will be announced that day.

"We like to find events that have common roots and the Nastri d'Argento are to Rome what the Academy Awards are to Los Angeles," said Michael Burke, Fendi's chief executive officer.

"The timing felt right and this event is relevant to our brand because Fendi products have always been in films. Italian actors and actress have world-class talent that is underexposed and that needs to be communicated in a more contemporary and global manner," he added.

Founded in 1946, the Nastri d'Argento are Italy's most prestigious and oldest awards, where critics and journalists belonging to the Sindacato Nazionale Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani vote the winners for the various categories.

"Obviously, it's not Venice or Cannes because it's not a marketplace for movies or a commercial moment, but it's a great partnership for us," said Burke.

As part of the project, Fendi has established a new award called Fendi Film — Talento 2005, aimed at putting rising stars on the film industry's radar. Silvia Venturini Fendi, the brand's accessories director and men's wear designer, will award the prize on Feb. 4.

Fendi has had a relationship with the big screen for decades, crafting furs in all shapes and colors, starting with Silvana Mangano, who donned a cropped Breitschwantz fur in the film "Gruppo di Famiglia in un Interno" in 1974.

In more recent times, Michelle Pfeiffer exuded Old World elegance via Fendi furs in the "Age of Innocence," Madonna huddled into replicas of fur coats worn by Evita Peron in "Evita," and Gwyneth Paltrow wore a long mink Fendi trench throughout "The Royal Tenenbaums."

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