Spanish director Antonio Mercero's 4th Floor has scooped the top Golden Gryphon prize at theGiffoni Film Festival (17-24 July), the Italian youth-themed festival which isnow set to export its winning formula to Albania, Los Angeles and Australia.
4th Floor tells thestory of a group of 15-year-olds who are all fighting for their lives inhospital where they are recovering from cancer. The film was competing in theFree-to-Fly section judged by several hundreds of 12-14 year-olds from aroundthe world.
The 34-year-old festival's Grand Jury Prize was won byNtsmavheeni Wa Luruli's The Wooden Camera.
The festival's 1,300-member jury, which is entirely made upof 6 to 19-year-olds from around the world, also awarded a prize to Israelidirector Shemi Zarhin's Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, which was competing in the Y-Gen section dedicated to 15-to-19year-olds.
Canadian picture Daniel & The Superdogs by Andre Melancon won the top award in the FirstScreens section judged by 9 to 12 year-olds, while Germany's The WildSoccer Bunch by Joachim Masannek won thefirst prize in the Kidz section which is judged by 6 to 9 year-olds.
Guests attending the festival included David Carradine,Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Michele Placido and Keisha Castle-Hughes.
In October, Giffoni's artistic director Claudio Gubitosi andpresident Carlo Andria will export the festival's formula to Albania, whichwill host the event in Tirana, Durrës and Shkodra.
In February, Lost Angeles will host Teen LA, a 5-day eventthat will be co-directed by Gubitosi and Jon Voight.
The deal was spearheaded by Gubitosi and Steven Paul,co-president of the AFMA Foundation and president of Crystal Sky.
Like Giffoni, Teen LA's jury will be composed of hundreds ofmulticultural school children who will be able to mingle and debate with starsattending the event.
In 2005, Giffoni will also spawn a twin event in Australia,in collaboration with the Adelaide Film Festival. The event is expected to takeplace in February or March in Adelaide, and in late September in Melbourne andSydney.