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Tyro helmers boosted at Turin fest

Festival to feature Friedkin retrospective

ROME — A mixed bag of eclectic works by new directors from 12 countries will unspool at the 21st Turin Film Festival, the first edition headed by new co-directors Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan and Roberto Turigliatto.

Event, dedicated to up-and-coming international helmers and cutting-edge fare, will open with Italo-French actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s directorial debut “It’s Easier for a Camel…” out of competition. It closes with 1977 cult thriller “Sorcerer,” directed by William Friedkin, whom Turin is honoring with a retro. Friedkin is expected to attend.

Russian cult director Aleksander Sukorov is also expected to make the trek for the retro in his honor, with some 40 titles unspooling.

Works vying for the fest’s $20,000 top prize include U.S. director Paxton Winters’ Turkey-set “Crude” — the only English-language competition entry. Other entries are Japanese allegorical sci-fier “The Box,” by Kanji Nakajima; French comedy “A Man, a Real One,” by brothers Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu; Austrian director Ruth Mader’s immigrant drama “Struggle”; and Joon-Ho Bong’s Korean serial killer saga “Memories of Murder.”

Turin’s new toppers have beefed up the out-of-competition section to comprise 17 works in different formats, including a subsection dedicated to Malaysian movies. The Italian premiere of Joe Dante’s “Looney Tunes: Back in Action,” which blends animation and live action, is among non-competing pics. Dante, a Turin aficionado, is expected to be on hand.

The strong Americana section will showcase a recent crop of U.S. pics that might not otherwise reach Italian screens. They include David Gordon Green’s “All the Real Girls,” “American Splendor,” the Neil Young-directed “Greendale” and “Domestic Violence 2” by Frederick Wiseman — who is being honored with the fest’s Cipputi career prize, though he is not attending.

“In repositioning the fest, what we are concerned with is discovering the most vibrant and exciting works in new international cinema,” said Turigliatto, indicating the fest may be taking a more arty and experimental turn than under previous topper Stefano Della Casa.

“Turin is the type of fest that can host big Hollywood movies and also much smaller and obscure stuff,” said D’Agnolo Vallan, the event’s co-director and Americana curator.

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