Payne to present his pic in person

ROME — The European preem of Alexander Payne’s “Sideways” is among highlights of the 22nd Turin Film Festival, which kicks off today. Payne, an old Turin aficionado, will make the trek to Italy’s northern industrial capital to present his pic out of competition.

John Sayles’ “Silver City” will open the nine-day fest’s Americana section, with Sayles also expected to be on hand.

Other U.S. titles unspooling include Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunset” from Warner Bros. and Takashi Shimuzu’s “The Grudge” remake, which stars Sarah Michelle Gellar. Japanese horror redo will unspool in Italy in January via 01 Distribuzione.

John Landis, who will be honored with a retro, is also expected to attend.

“We have really boosted our profile as a launching pad, thanks to increased interest from distributors,” said co-artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan. “At the same time, we are more committed than ever to discovering new talents.”

Turin’s other artistic topper is critic Roberto Turigliatto.

The fest will include more than 300 titles in a dozen sections with lots of space given to documentaries and unconventional formats.

Asia-heavy 14-entry competish includes Japanese manga live-action pic “Casshern” by Kiriya Kazuaki; female rivalry drama “The Cat Leaves Home” by Japan’s Nami Iguchi; “Left Hand” by Hong Kong’s Wong Ching Po; Korean psychodrama “Hypnotized”; and Chinese drama “An Estranged Paradise” by freshman Yang Fudong.

The only U.S. pic vying for Turin’s E20,500 ($26,500) top prize is David Gordon Green’s “Undertow.”

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