TAORMINA, ITALY — Jason Biggs’ starrer “Guy X” picked up major awards in the new competish section of this year’s Taormina Film Festival, including director for Scottish sophomore helmer Saul Metztstein.
Biggs himself, playing a U.S. soldier stumbling upon government secrets at the end of the Cold War, received the best actor prize for his work in the black comedy, set to unspool next at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
Titian-haired thesper Lucrezia Lante della Rovere went home with the best actress prize for her stand-out work in Italo “Through the Eyes of Another” (“Gli occhi dell’altro) while d.p. Christophe Beaucarne received cinematographer award for his richly textured work in English-language Luxembourg co-prod “Bye Bye Blackbird.” The entire ensemble cast of Danish drug drama “Angels in Fast Motion” (“Nordkraft”) was recognized with prizes for best supporting actor and actress.
Freshman Gallic helmer Robinson Savary’s “Bye Bye Blackbird” was also recognized by the Fipresci jury as best film, as well as taking home the public jury’s 25,000 Euro ($30,750) prize for best first or second feature.
This year’s fest also saw the inauguration of the separate ItaliaFilmFest prizes, a response by Taormina topper Felice Laudadio to the fact that Italo crix prize the Nastri d’Argento is no longer announced during the fest.
Awards were televised by satellite channel RAI Sat: Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Consequences of Love” (“Le conseguenze dell’amore”) picked up three awards, while “Saimir” helmer Francesco Munzi took home best director. Charlotte Rampling, a last minute cancellation after being announced as one of the Taormina Arte honorees, was given best actress prize for “The Keys to the House” (“Le chiavi di casa”).
Fellow recipients of the Harry Winston Taormina Arte award were Virna Lisi, Victoria Abril, Malcolm McDowell, Hugh Hudson (also head of this year’s jury), Irene Papas, Andie McDowell and Bob Rafelson.
U.S. blockbuster “Batman Begins” unspooled on the Ancient Greek amphitheatre’s giant screen in a simultaneous Italo premiere with Rome, initiated with a live hook-up to the Eternal City’s opening red carpet.
In a bid for more summertime hits, fest organizers have announced a return to a later fest date, with the 2006 52nd edition scheduled for July 22-29.