Fest reels out vintage kudos

Avignon event to fete Turturro

It’s hard to beat a Cannes Palme d’Or, a Berlin Golden Bear or a Venice Golden Lion for prestige, but they’re no help at all washing down a hearty main course.

For film luminaries with a corkscrew as well as talent, the tastiest film award in Europe is fermenting in the Rhone Valley. On June 21, the 23rd Avignon Film Festival will bestow its maiden Chateauneuf du Pape prize on American thesp and helmer John Turturro; prize consists of a case of the noble libation every year for 10 years.

“The idea is to honor an actor or director whose career is as distinctive and original as this justly admired wine,” said fest founder and artistic director Jerome Henry Rudes.

Prize for honorees will be awarded in Avignon in June or at the New York edition of the event held each April.

The Avignon fest is also instituting a docu nod named for the late journo and political vet Pierre Salinger, who retired to the region.

Competitive fest, devoted to showcasing independent work from the U.S. and Europe, runs through June 25.

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