Mario Soldati (17 November 1906 - 19 June 1999) was an Italian writer and film director. In 1954 he won the Strega Prize for Lettere da Capri. He directed several works adapted from novels, and worked with leading Italian actresses, such as Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. Soldati studied Humanities in his native city, Turin, and History of Art in Rome. He started publishing novels in 1929. He achieved the widest notice with America primo amore, published in 1935, a memoir of the time he spent teaching at Columbia University. He won literary awards for his work, most notably the Strega Prize for Lettere da Capri in 1954. Also interested in film, Soldati began directing in 1938. His most well-known films are Piccolo mondo antico (1941) and Malombra with Isa Miranda, both based on novels by Antonio Fogazzaro. These two films belong to the early 1940s movement in Italian cinema known as calligrafismo. Other popular films were Eugenie Grandet, based on Balzac's novel, with Alida Valli; Fuga in Francia (1948); The River Girl (starring Sophia Loren), and La provinciale (starring Gina Lollobrigida). Soldati also regularly published articles in Italian newspapers, including Il Mondo, Il Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, Avanti, L'Unita and Il Giorno. He died at Lerici in 1999.