‘Plank’ walks off with Taormina laurels

It wins pic, director while four leads share thesp

TAORMINA, Italy — The 57th Taormina Film Festival wrapped on Saturday, with the three main prizes going to Cannes-preemed Moroccan pic “On the Plank.”

It nabbed the Golden Tauro for best film plus best director for tyro helmer Leila Kilani and a joint prize for thesp for the four lead actresses: Soufia Issami, Mouna Bahmad, Nouzha Akel and Sara Betioui.

The special jury prize went to animated French pic “The Rabbi’s Cat,” directed by Joann Sfar, which the jury — director Patrice Leconte, Egyptian actress Yousra and Italian actress Maya Sansa — singled out for the original way it treats complex issues between religions.

In the Beyond the Mediterranean section, judged by a public jury, the award went to Dutch pic “Black Butterfly,” directed by Paula van der Oest, while a special jury prize was given to Iranian Ahmad Reza Motamedi’s “Alzheimer’s.”

The prizes were handed out in Taormina’s ancient Greek amphitheater on the Italian island of Sicily.

Among guests attending the fest were director-producers Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kevin Smith, Oliver Stone, Elia Suleiman, Andrzej Zulawski and Goran Paskaljevic, plus thesps Monica Bellucci, Jack Black, Matthew Modine and Robert Sheehan.

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