Drama nabs $24K; 'Deep,' 'Changes' also honored

TURIN, Italy — “La Fin du regne animal” (The End of the Animal Kingdom), a first feature by French helmer Joel Brisse, won the main prize at the 21st Turin Film Festival, Italy’s preeminent event dedicated to young directors and cutting edge fare. Event wrapped Friday.

Brisse’s drama about an oddball man who talks to animals was awarded the E20,500 ($24,400) film nod by the international jury — headed by Bengali helmer Goutam Ghose — which praised it as a complex and delicate portrayal of an outsider.

Produced by Paulo Branco, “The End of the Animal Kingdom” will be released in France on Dec. 10 by Branco’s Gemini Films.

Special prizes went to Iranian director Parviz Shahbazi’s “Deep Breath,” a portrayal of nihilistic Teheran youth that bowed at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, and Polish helmer Lukasz Barczyk’s intimate ensemble drama “Changes,” which had previously screened in Montreal. “Changes” also won Turin’s Fipresci prize.

A special mention went to Japanese director Kanji Nakajima’s allegorical sci-fi pic “Hako” (The Box); prize for international short film went to “I Have Seen My Mother Dancing in the Clouds” by Italy’s Filippo Clericuzio, who is also known as Ila Beka.

As has become customary, Turin this year featured a rich selection of American titles, including the international premiere of Warner Bros.’ “Looney Tunes: Back in Action,” attended by helmer Joe Dante.

William Friedkin, who was honored with a retrospective, also made the trek to the fest in Italy’s northern industrial capital.

Turin’s Americana section, dedicated to pics that may not otherwise reach Italian screens, featured David Gordon Green’s “All the Real Girls,” “American Splendor,” the Neil Young-directed “Greendale” and the docu “Domestic Violence 2″ by Frederick Wiseman — who was honored with the fest’s Cipputi career prize.

Russian cult helmer Aleksander Sukorov also came to Turin to attend the first complete retro of his works.

This year Turin came right after Milan’s Mifed mart, which made it easier to attract industryites. This was Turin’s first edition headed by new co-directors Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan and Roberto Turigliatto, who said they want the fest to become more international and appear to have a more arty and experimental bent than previous topper Stefano Della Casa.

Fest attendance was on a par with last year’s record-breaking 70,000 admissions. Eight-day event was held in a multiplex on the city’s outskirts.

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