Slovenian film Gravehopping shared top honoursat the 2005 Torino Film Festival with Clouds of Yesterday, anostalgia-soaked paean to the silent film era which represents the featuredirecting debut of Japanese actor and composer Tsubokawa Takushi.
The Torino best feature awardfor Gravehopping continued the triumphal festival march of JanCvitkovic's choral black comedy, which picked up the Altadis - NewDirector's Award at San Sebastian and also bagged the top prize at the CottbusFestival of East European Cinema.
The Special Jury Prize went toRobinson Devor's Police Beat, a US indie feature which had previously airedat Sundance and Edinburgh, while Singaporean director Eric Khoo won the BestDirector award for Be With Me, which is one of only three non-US contendersfor the Non-European Film of the Year award at this year's EFAs in Berlin.
Two Italian documentariesshared the Persol Doc 2005 award - Il Canto di Nuovi Emigrati, a homage toCalabrian poet Franco Costabile by directing duo Felice D'Agostino and ArturoLavorato; and Balordi, German director Mirjiam Kubescha's portrait of thesouthern Italian inmates and warders of Volterra high security prison.
Unrepentantly cineaste, Turinis a festival whose real gems are to be found more often in the retrospectivesand sidebars than in the main competition. And this year's event was noexception: highlights included the first part of a complete Claude Chabrolsurvey which will continue next year; a Walter Hill retrospective; and a focuson the cinema of the Philippines, centring on the work of mould-breakingdirector Lino Brocka and his present-day disciple, Lav Diaz.
But the real audience hit ofthe festival was the European premiere of a US cable TV series: Showtime's Mastersof Horror, which showcases 13 one-hour films by acclaimed horrormeisters likeJohn Landis, John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper.
Joe Dante's contribution, Homecoming, was given afive-minute standing ovation, with one festivalgoer describing the mini-featureas "the horror equivalent of Michael Moore."
Based on a short story by DaleBailey, Dante's film politicises the zombie genre by imagining what wouldhappen if US soldiers killed in Iraq rose from their graves to vote against themilitary commander, turned politician, who sent them off to die. Themini-film will be broadcast in the US on 2 December.
This year's dose of Hollywood glamour was provided by IsabellaRossellini, who flew into a fog-bound Turin to promote My Dad is 100 YearsOld,Guy Maddin's whimsical 16-minute homage to her father, Roberto Rossellini.Isabella scripted the short homage, and she also takes all the roles in it -playing cinema legends like Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, David O Selznick,and her mother, Ingrid Bergman.
Turning up at the press conference wearing a man's suit and tie,writer-producer Rossellini said that her main reason for making the film was toreverse the neglect of her father's films in the States, where "a classic likeRoma Citt' Aperta has not been shown in 18 years."