The International Efebo d’Oro Award, which is organised by the Research Centre for Cinema and Narrative, was started in November 1978 to counter the decline of cinema due to television. From its foundation to 2013, the prize’s ceremony was hosted in the city of Agrigento, then it was moved to Palermo. Well-established in the landscape of the National Film Awards for its originality and illustrious figures who have participated in the various editions, the prize has been officially recognized also by the Italian Ministry of Heritage and Culture
Every year, the Efebo d’Oro awards a filmmaker for the best film based on a literary work. In 1979 Un borghese piccolo piccolo by Mario Monicelli received the first Efebo d’Oro and the list of filmmakers awarded since then includes the most excellent artists of the Italian and European Cinema. The Efebo is recognized to be a cultural initiative of the utmost interest that focuses on the long-standing relationship between cinema and literature, with the contribution of artists, filmmakers, actors and screenwriters.
In 1983 a new section was introduced, dedicated to TV and New Languages, alongside a new prize for the best book on Cinema.
The Efebo d’Oro does not aim simply to promote the cinematic adaptation of literary works but to emphasize the intense exchange occurring between the two languages, which remain independent. Frédéric Fonteyne, winner of the 2005 edition significantly said that without literature cinema would be pure entertainment showing pornography and violence, and that the great cinema places its roots in the thoughts and fear of humans, in the anxieties and aspirations that the written page can express so well.