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Mel Gibson Wins Director Award for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ From Capri Festival

Variety logo Variety 12/29/2016 Dave McNary
© Provided by Variety

Mel Gibson has been awarded the Director of the Year honor for World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge” at the 21st edition of the Capri Hollywood International Film Festival.

Bill Mechanic, one of the film’s producers, accepted the award on Gibson’s behalf. Mechanic has already been honored with the festival’s Producer of the Year award for the movie.

“Hacksaw Ridge” tells the story of Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, who was a conscientious objector for religious reasons and saved 75 lives in the Battle of Okinawa without firing a single shot. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“Hacksaw Ridge” premiered at the Venice Film Festival and has grossed $64 million domestically and $78 million internationally since opening in November — including $40 million from China.

“It took me 15 years to make this movie,” Mechanic said on receiving the award at the Anacapri Cinema Paradiso stage. “Mel will be very happy to receive this award. I always thought he was perfect for this film, but he only accepted the ask on my third request! It was very important to make this movie.”

It’s Gibson’s first directing job since 2006’s “Apocalypto.” His other directing credits are “The Man Without a Face,” “Braveheart” and “The Passion of the Christ.”

“Hacksaw Ridge” will be screened in Italian cinemas beginning Feb. 7 through the Leone Film Group and Eagles Pictures.

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