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RIIFF Announces Paul Sorvino as its Lifetime Achievement Recipient

RIIFF Announces Paul Sorvino as its Lifetime Achievement Recipient

Actor Paul Sorvino will receive the Rhode Island International Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award on August 11 in Providence, RI. The “Nixon” actor will join previous winners Blake Edwards and Cicely Tyson. Check out the festival’s lineup on indieWIRE.

Full press release follows below:

Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) proudly announces Paul Sorvino as the recipient of the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sorvino, who starred in Goodfellas, Romeo and Juliet (1996) and The Cooler, has had a colorful career playing multi-faceted and intriguing characters in hit movie and televisions shows. RIIFF is honored to be presenting its most prestigious award to an actor that exemplifies excellence in and dedication to his craft.

Sorvino will be present at a special reception on Aug. 11 at Federal Hill’s newest restaurant, D’Vine on the Hill, 145 Spruce St., Providence, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. A portion of the $30 ticket pays for admittance to the 7:15 p.m. screening of Lily of the Feast, the latest film in which Sorvino stars, shown at The VETS, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. Sorvino will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award preceding the film’s screening.

The hand-blown and carved glass award was created by Providence-born glass and ceramics sculptor Anthony Cioe. The Rhode Island School of Design-graduate lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Sorvino was born and raised. RIIFF sees it fitting that Sorvino, a bronze sculptor himself for over 30 years, receive the crafted award from a fellow Brooklyn sculptor.

“The career and talent of Paul Sorvino has spanned opera, Broadway, film, television and sculpture,” Cioe said. “Inspired by his range as an artist, I designed the award’s multiple facets, ground into the surface of hand blown and cut glass, to represent the many angles of his diverse creative experiences throughout his career, leading up to this Lifetime Achievement Award at the RIIFF.”

Previous winners of the RIIFF Lifetime Achievement Award include: director Blake Edwards, actresses Cicely Tyson and Patricia Neal and actors Ernest Borgnine, Seymour Cassel and Kim Chan.

Sorvino, 72, began his career with aspirations to be an opera singer. But after 18 years of voice lessons and attending the New York Music and Dramatic Academy, he shifted his sights to theatre. He made his Broadway debut in the 1964 musical Bajour, and six years later he appeared in his first film, Where’s Poppa? He received an avalanche of critical praise for his performance as Phil Romano in Jason Miller’s 1972 Broadway play That Championship Season, a role he repeated in the 1982 TCS film version.

In 1981, Sorvino played the role of Italian-American communist Louis C. Fraina in Warren Beatty’s epic film Reds. He appeared in Larry Cohen’s 1985 science fiction horror film The Stuff as a reclusive militia leader, alongside his future Law & Order co-star Michael Moriarty. He helped found the American Stage Company – a group that launched several successful Off-Broadway shows, while living in Tenafly, New Jersey in 1986.

In 1991, he took over from George Dzundza on the popular series Law & Order, and in 1993 he subbed for the late Raymond Burr in a Perry Mason TV movie. He has also appeared as Bruce Willis’ father in the weekly series Moonlighting. Some of his most notable film roles were Paul Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990) and Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s Nixon (1995).

RIIFF filmgoers can see Sorvino in his latest role, in Federico Castelluccio’s Lily of the Feast, at 7:15 p.m. at The VETS on Thursday, Aug. 11.

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