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ROMEFILMFEST - The awards

Serebrennikov and Meadows winners

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Serebrennikov and Meadows winners

A people's jury was more sophisticated than the most intellectual of jurors at the most bombastic of festivals has selected two beautiful and courageous films: Playing the Victim by Russia's Kirill Serebrennikov and This is England [+see also:
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by UK director Shane Meadows.

Divided between which of the two to award Best Film, the jury, made up of 50 spectators between the ages of 18 and 78 and presided over by Ettore Scola, preferred creating a Special Prize for Meadows' tough and moving film: "I applaud the courageous jury," thanked Meadows, "because the film's subject is very difficult, it speaks of racism and violence. Twelve months ago we shot the film with a boy, Thomas Turgoose, who had truly tragic prospects: he was thrown out of school and his father had left the family. This film and this award may have changed his life".

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Best Film of the RomeFilmFest thus went to Izobrajaya Zhertvy/Playing the Victim, based on the eponymous play that was a success at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, by one of the Russian theatre's most important directors. "We shot this film for Russia and the Russian people. We thought it could change people's minds because we think cinema has the power to do that. I thank the two producers, two women who believed in a film that seemed to have no chance in Russia". Roissy Films is responsible for the international sales of this film (see interview).

The Best Actor Award went to Italy's Giorgio Colangeli for L'aria salata [+see also:
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interview: Alessandro Angelini
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]
, the second film by Claudio Angelini. The esteemed theatre actor, who is unfortunately relatively unknown to film audiences, said: "Giving the award to an actor like myself, who works in the shadows, is a wonderful sign for all actors who work tenaciously. Everyone has their moment in the end."

The Best Actress was deemed France's Arianne Ascaride for her performance in Robert Guediguian's Armenia [+see also:
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. "You cannot imagine how happy I am for this award," said Ascaride in perfect Italian, "for a film made in small country that I love and that adopted me, Armenia. Receiving it here in Rome, in Italy, which is the country of my father and grandfather, makes me feel like I am finally coming home".

Collateral awards:

The Cult Award for Best Documentary in selection went to UK title Deep Water by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell, the true story of Donald Crowhurst, an electronics genius and free thinker who was first to travel around the world in a yacht alone, winning the "Sunday Times" Golden Globe. Said Louise Osmond with satisfaction: "This festival is doing so much for the documentary, a film art form that is not always included in festivals".

The L.A.R.A. Award for Best Italian Performer, given out by the association of Italian agents, went to Ninetto Davoli for his performances in Uno su due [+see also:
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by Eugenio Cappuccio. "This is the first award of my life! It comes 42 years after I made my first film, with the director to whom I dedicate this award: Pier Paolo Pasolini. It is thanks to him that I am here today".

The Unknown [+see also:
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won the Blockbuster Award of the Première section, inspiring director Giuseppe Tornatore to reflect back to his Q&A with festival audiences: "It was an extraordinary moment, this centrality of audiences is an important new aspect that will leave its mark".

Lastly, a symbolic RomeFilmFest-BNL Award was given to Gillo Pontecorvo, who passed away just as the festival was beginning. "To a great friend, a brother, a maestro,” said Giuliano Montaldo when presenting the award to Pontecorvo’s wife Picci and their children. "Gillo knew of the prize and was very happy. Thank you," said Mrs. Pontecorvo.

(Translated from Italian)

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