Marco Bellocchio’s mafia drama THE TRAITOR has been selected as Italy’s candidate for the Oscar for Best International Feature Film.

The title was a Cannes competition entry earlier this year, after which it won the Italian Golden Globe for Best Director and Best Original Score at the Nastri d’Argento film awards.

It tells the true story of Tommaso Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino), a member of the Sicilian mafia, who in 1984 decides to start cooperating with Italian and American prosecutors. His momentous decision led to Italy’s infamous anti-mafia Maxi Trial of 1986, in which hundreds of Sicilian mobsters were convicted.

“I am happy about this nomination and want to thank the committee that made this decision. The other films were equally deserving, but there you have it.

It's an opportunity, a ticket to enter the big race. I have no illusions but will do everything possible to help THE TRAITOR on this long journey. Even as an old pacifist and non-violent anarchist, I feel that it is an honour and a responsibility to represent Italy in this challenge." Marco Bellocchio commented.

THE TRAITOR is screening in the forthcoming BFI London Film Festival (2 - 13 October), and Marco Bellocchio will be available for press interviews.

To request an interview, please contact:

Clare Leach / Jamie Rushden / Fabrice Ouakinine
Tel: + 44 207 292 6442 / Email:


Director: Marco Bellocchio

Cast: Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Candido, Fabrizio Ferracane, Luigi Lo Cascio, Fausto Russo Alesi, Nicola Calì, Giovanni Calcagno, Bruno Carriello, Vincenzo Pirrotta, Goffredo Maria Bruno, Federica Butera, Alessio Praticò, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Gabriele Cicirello, Paride Cicirello, Rosario Palazzolo, Elia Schilton, Antonio Orlando, Federica Butera, Ludovico Caldarera, Nunzia Lo Presti, Sergio Pierattini, Raffaella Lebboroni, Ada Nisticò, Giovanni Crozza, Matteo Contino, Alberto Gottuso, Tatu La Vecchia, Giuseppe di Marca

Strand: THRILL (135 mins)

In the 1980s an all-out war rages between Sicilian mafia bosses, forcing Tommaso Buscetta to flee to Brazil. However, with tensions escalating and threats building against his family, Buscetta makes a momentous decision that will change the course of mafia history. He decides to become an informant, revealing crucial details of the inner workings of the Cosa Nostra organisation to crusading anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone. His testimony helped Falcone and fellow prosecutor Paolo Borsellino convict more than 300 mafiosi at the infamous Maxi Trial, Italy’s biggest and most successful anti-mafia prosecution in history. Veteran auteur Bellocchio’s extensive body of work includes Fists in the Pockets, In the Name of the Father, Devil in the Flesh and Dormant Beauty.


Sunday 6 October, 3 pm, Empire Haymarket (Screen 1)

Monday 7 October, 8 pm, BFI Southbank (NFT3)

Thursday 10 October, 3 pm, BFI Southbank (NFT2)

Friday 11 October, 5.30 pm, ICA Cinema (Screen 1)