KCET & PBS SoCal Virtual Events

2021 KCET Cinema Series Lumière Award Presentation to Legendary Actress Sophia Loren and Special Screening of THE LIFE AHEAD, by Director Edoardo Ponti

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In a special two-part event hosted by Pete Hammond, Italian actress and screen legend Sophia Loren is honored with the KCET Cinema Series Lumière Award and a screening of her new motion picture, ‘The Life Ahead’. The film’s director, Edoardo Ponti, joins his mother in her Switzerland home for a candid and emotional conversation with Hammond.

In Mr. Ponti’s new film, Madame Rosa (Ms. Loren) is a Holocaust survivor and former sex worker who begrudgingly takes in a wayward Senegalese street kid, named Momo. Ms. Loren returns in full force to the screen after a decade in this powerful and moving story of two survivors.

Sponsored by Mitzi Ash Blahd and Netflix, this special event includes the Lumière Award presentation and interview with Sophia Loren and Edoardo Ponti, followed by a screening of ‘The Life Ahead’.



As one of the most renowned and captivating actresses of all time, Academy Award-winning Italian actress Sophia Loren has carved an illustrious, international career over seven decades in motion pictures. Starting in the 1950s, she has given mesmerizing performances in such classic films as ‘It Started in Naples’, ‘Black Orchid’, ‘A Special Day’, ‘Two Women’, ‘Marriage Italian Style’, and ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’. ‘The Life Ahead’ is Ms. Loren’s first feature film in a decade, and reunites her with her son, director Edoardo Ponti.

Ms. Loren has worked with many of cinema’s greatest directors, including Charlie Chaplin, Robert Altman, Sidney Lumet, Martin Ritt, Ettore Scola and Vittorio De Sica, and legendary stars such as Marcello Mastroianni, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Clark Gable and Richard Burton.

International recognitions have included two Oscars®, five Golden Globes, a Golden Lion, a Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival, Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, the Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement from the Berlin Film Festival, a BAFTA Award, a Grammy Award, 10 David di Donatello Awards and three Silver Ribbon Awards. In 1999, the American Film Institute included Loren on its list of the twenty-five biggest stars in cinema history.

EDOARDO PONTI | Director, Co-Writer

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Edoardo Ponti was inducted into the world of cinema as the assistant of auteurs Michelangelo Antonioni and Robert Altman. In 2002, Ponti made his directorial debut at the Venice Film Festival with Between Strangers, directing his mother, Sophia Loren, alongside Gérard Depardieu, Mira Sorvino and Malcom McDowell. In 2011, he wrote and directed the critically acclaimed irreverent romantic comedy Coming & Going. In 2012, his short film The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars, won Best Live Action Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded Italy’s prestigious Silver Ribbon, making it onto the short list for the Oscars. In 2014, Ponti took his short film Human Voice, based on a theatrical piece by Jean Cocteau to Cannes. The film starred Loren, who won the David di Donatello Award for her performance. The Life Ahead reunites Ponti with his mother and marks his third directorial feature.

PETE HAMMOND | Host of the KCET Cinema Series

Pete is currently the Chief Film Critic for Deadline Hollywood. For the past 9 years he has also been Awards Editor and Columnist for Deadline where he covers the Oscar and Emmy Seasons. He came to Deadline from the Los Angeles Times where he covered the awards seasons for The Envelope and LA Times.com. He is widely considered to be one of the pre-eminent awards season analysts for film and television.




The Lumière Award is presented by the KCET Cinema Series in recognition of excellence, artistry and innovation by a filmmaker or an actor in television or motion pictures. Previous honorees include actors Kevin Costner, Dame Judi Dench, Shirley MacLaine, Sir Ian McKellen and Gary Oldham, and motion picture producer Walter Mirisch.




The Virtual KCET Cinema Series is made possible by ticket sales, membership passes, and sponsorships. To discuss sponsorship opportunities by individuals, businesses or charitable foundations, please contact Michele Garza, series producer, at mgarza@pmgsocal.org. The Virtual KCET Cinema Series is presented by Mitzi Ash Blahd and the MaddocksBrown Foundation. To learn more about the KCET Cinema Series, or to register to attend the upcoming film screenings, please visit kcet.org/cinemaseries. Join the conversation on social media using #KCETCinemaSeries, #Lumiere.