Named in memory of long-time MPAA president Jack Valenti, it is the festival's highest honor and is given annually to "an outstanding Italian-American who has made major contributions to the global motion picture industry." Al Pacino and Anjelica Huston are the prior recipients.
"We are extremely honored and delighted to be presenting this year's Jack Valenti Legend Award to the talented and lovely Liza Minnelli," said festival founder and producer Pascal Vicedomini and festival honorary chair Mark Canton in a statement. "As in prior years our Board aims to recognize highly talented Italian-Americans who have made an impact on the industry and without a doubt, Liza fits the bill."
Minnelli added, "I am very grateful to receive the 2015 Jack Valenti – L.A., Italia Legend Award. I was fortunate to watch my father Vincente Minnelli direct some of the greatest motion pictures Hollywood has produced and from him I received two wonderful things: my love of movies and my Italian heritage. Both Jack Valenti and my father were pioneers in their own way and I hope that they would be proud of my own contributions to the movies."
The award will be presented to Minnelli Feb. 20 during the festival's closing-night ceremonies. The 10th annual L.A., Italia Fest begins Feb. 15 at the TLC Chinese 6 Theatres in the Hollywood & Highland complex, with an array of Italian, Italian-American and international artists scheduled to participate in the week-long celebration showcasing the best of Italian culture.