VENICE – The Venice Film Fest has announced prizes for its independantly run sidebar sections.
Italo helmer Ivano De Matteo’s “The Dinner,” pictured, scored the Europa Cinemas nod for best European film in the Venice Days section. Inspired by Dutch writer Herman Koch’s best-selling novel, “The Dinner” stars Alessandro Gassman, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, and young rising Rome-based American actress Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (Game of Thrones) in a drama about rivalry between brothers, spoiled kids, and difficult moral choices. The prize, given by a jury of four exhibitors, will give the pic promotional push and better exhibition circulation thanks to an EU financial incentive for the Europa Cinemas network of cinemas to include it in their programming schedule.

Gallic auteur Laurent Cantet’s “Return To Ithaca,” about five friends who reunite on a rooftop terrace in contempo Havana when one of them unexpectedly reappears after a 16-year exile, took the newly introduced Venice Days prize decided upon by a jury of 28 young film buffs, guided by Argentinian helmer Diego Lerman. It carries Euros 20,000 ($27,000) in cash.

First-time Serbian helmer Vuk Rsumovic’s “No One’s Child,” about a wild boy found deep in the Bosnian mountains in 1988 living amongst wolves, took the Critics’ Week RaroVideo audience award, worth Euros 5,000 ($6,400).

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The Venice official selection prizes will be announced tomorrow.