Known by his colleagues as "Nello," Italian producer Lionello Santi was behind numerous prestigious Italian films, including Francesco Rosi's Mani sulla Citti/Hands over the City (1963), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and Pietro Germi's Divorce American Style (1962), which won the Academy Award for "Best Foreign Film." Following WW II, during which he earned a silver medal from the Italian government for his work as a parachutist, Santi started out producing such 1950s "muscleman" films as Hercules (1959) and Hercules Unchained (1960). He went on to found Galatea Cinematografica productions, which in addition to Germi's award-winning film also produced Lina Wertmueller's debut film I Basilischi/The Lizards (1963). In 1964, Santi helped produce the first Russian-Italian co-production, Italiani, Brava Gente. He would go on to work closely with Russian filmmaker Gleb Panfilove and others, so much so that Santi would receive a special award from the Moscow Film Festival in 1995. Between 1972 and 1977, Santi helmed Cinecitta Studios.