WATERVILLE — Acclaimed French actress Dominique Sanda will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award next month at the 21st annual Maine International Film Festival.

Sanda, known as “La Sanda,” is best known for her role in the 1971 Academy Award-winning film “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,” which was named Best Foreign Language Film.

She has enjoyed an illustrious career, having worked with the industry’s most celebrated directors, including Vittorio de Sica, who directed “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis”; Bernardo Bertolucci, director of “The Conformist” and “1900”; Robert Bresson, director of “Une Femme Douce”; and John Huston, who directed “The Mackintosh Man.”

Sanda will be presented the award at the Waterville Opera House during the festival, which runs July 13-22 at Railroad Square Cinema and the Waterville Opera House. Sanda will attend all 10 days, according to organizers.

“Dominique has a directorial filmography like no other actress; her first three films are with legendary directors (de Sica, Bertolucci and Bresson) and her fourth with a legendary actor as her director (Maximilian Schell),” said Ken Eisen, festival programming director. “The most in-demand actress of the 1970s and into the ’80s, Dominique hasn’t stopped making movies — covering continents as well as decades over the course of her filmmaking. She has been honored at European film festivals but never here in North America. It’s a pleasure to welcome her and her fine films to MIFF this year, and to honor her film career with our Lifetime Achievement Award. This is a very exciting honor and treat for MIFF and its audiences.”

Festival publicist Nathan Towne issued a release that says the festival will feature nearly 100 films representing the best of American and international independent cinema and spotlighting some of Maine and the rest of New England’s most innovative filmmakers.

The release says that while attending the festival, Sanda will introduce eight of her most esteemed films as part of MIFF’s Sanda retrospective: “Une Femme Douce,” 1969; “Garden of the Finzi-Continis,” 1970; “The Conformist,” 1970; “The Mackintosh Man,” 1973; “Steppenwolf,” 1974; “The Inheritance,” 1976; “Novecento/1900,” a new DCP restoration premiere, 1976; and “Going Away,” 2013.

The award presentation and screening of “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” will be one of the festival’s signature events at the Waterville Opera House. The film, based on the book of the same name by Giorgio Bassani, focuses on the intellectual Finzi-Contini family, Jewish aristocrats who live on an idyllic estate. Siblings Alberto and Micòl Finzi-Contini, played by Sanda, regularly hold parties with their friends, largely sheltered from the growing anti-Semitism in their country. When the Fascist movement becomes stronger, however, it affects everyone in the orbit of the family.

At last year’s festival, actress Lauren Hutton was presented with the festival’s top award. Previous winners include Glenn Close, Jonathan Demme, Peter Fonda, Ed Harris, Sissy Spacek and Terrence Malick.

Festival passes are on sale on the festival’s website, http://www.miff.org. The full festival schedule also will be available on website.

The fest is a project of the Maine Film Center, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enrich, educate and entertain the community through film and art.

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