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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Rome Fest Palmares New Cinema Network

SIAE PRIZE FOR BEST ITALIAN PROJECT to:
“RETURNING TO HAIFA” by Mohsen Melliti
A human look into the suffering of exile on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The story of a Palestinian couple who, following the proclamation of the independent Jewish state of Israel in 1948, are forced to leave their home in the Palestinian town of Haifa. Tragically, during the confusion of the Israeli invasion the couple - Sayd and Safya - become separated from their five months old son, Khaldun.
Mohsen Melliti (Tunis, 1967) lives in exile in Italy since 1991. He has directed many documentaries, such as L’altra Roma (1995), Verso casa (1996), co-directed with Massimo Giglielmi, La ragazza del faro (2000) and La mia testa nel pallone (2000). He is also experienced as a screenwriter.

MINI PRIZE FOR BEST EUROPEAN PROJECT to:
“BONOBO JINGO” by Slawomir Fabicki
A beautiful, touching and truly original story addressed to the whole family, told in a highly cinematographic language.
11-year-old Marek lives with his family in old railway carriages. Within ten days bulldozers are going to destroy their illegal house. Marek and his older brother help local thieves. Without meaning to, they hit upon a Pygmy Chimpanzee Bonobo along with a mysterious board in one of the rolling stocks. The robbers do not want the monkey, so Marek decides to take care of the animal.

Slawomir Fabicki was born in 1970 in Warsaw (Poland). He has directed both documentaries – Wewnetrzny 55 (Extension 55, 1997) and Po drugiej stronie lasu (The Other Side of the Forest, 1999) - and fiction short films - Meska sprawa (A Man Thing, 2001) Lucja i jej dzieci (Lucy and Her Children, 2003) Wesole miasteczko (The Amusement Park, 2004).

MENTIONS
“ALONG THE MAIN ROAD” by Dominique Lienhard
A complex and meticulously thought out study on the effects of war within a confined family
environment.
A peasant in his farm in the middle of the forest, along the main road, closes quickly the shutters. He is scared. An endless column of prisoners is going to pass by, just in front of his house. Until this very moment, he’s always managed to protect his wife and 16 years old daughter from the throes of war.
Born in Strasbourg (France) in 1965, Dominique Lienhard’s first works were a number of scripts for short films. In 2001, he directed his first short film, The Breakfast, which was presented in several film festivals.
In 2005, he directed his first feature film, Müetter.

“BUTANO” by Laurent Nègre
An intelligent and very funny look into the world of immigration and integration in Europe.
Selif, a young immigrant from Pakistan struggles to survive working as a gas delivery man, in the popular district of Raval, in the heart of Barcelona. Separated from his wife and child, he tries to build a better future for him and his family.

Gèrald Hustache-Mathieu (Grenoble, France, 1968) won the Cesar as best short for his first film Peau de Vache (2000), selected in more than 50 festivals. His second short, La Chatte Andalouse (2002), was also a big success in about 30 film festivals, and won several times the special audience award, such as the Clermond-Ferrand Film Festival. Avril was released in France in 2006.

BEST FIRST FEATURE FILM
AVRIL (APRIL IN LOVE) by Gérald Hustache-Mathieu.
The Young Jury of New Cinema Network Rome Film Fest headed by the Italian director Saverio Costanzo has elected “Avril” by Gérald Hustache Mathieu winner of the Best European First Feature Film 2007.
The award has been assigned to the director’s ability to tell the story in a deeply cinematographic vision. The film has convinced in particular for its mise en scene able to balance reality and imagination, where the technical-artistic performances wisely blend together and generate an intense emotional participation in the spectator.
Avril is a 21-year-old novice who was abandoned at birth in front of an isolated convent in the heart of the mountains. Mother Marie-Joseph tells her it is time for her to take her perpetual vows. But Sister Bernadette reveals a secret to her: she was not abandoned alone; there was also a boy - her twin brother.

Gèrald Hustache-Mathieu (Grenoble, France, 1968) won the Cesar for best short for his first film Peau de Vache (2000), selected in more than 50 festivals. His second short, La Chatte Andalouse (2002), was also a big success in about 30 film festivals, and won the special audience award several times, such as the Clermond-Ferrand Film Festival. Avril was released in France in 2006.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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