The 4th European Film Festival in Lecce, Southern Italy, awarded its top Ulivo d'Oro competition prize to Portuguese director Joaquim Sapinho's Mulher Policia.

The Portuguese-Spanish-French production, which won Euros 5,000, tells the story of a young widow who helps her troubled teenage son run away from the police.

The Reunion, a Swedish film by Mans Herngren and Hannes Holm, won the best screenplay prize. Bjorn Kjellman won the best actor award for his role as the film's protagonist Magnus, who decides to attend a school reunion so he can find out what happened to his childhood sweetheart.

Best Actress went to Maria Bonnevie for I Am Dina, which also won the Fipresci jury prize. A special prize was also awarded to Arnel Taci for his role in Paule And Julia.

Meanwhile, Sergio Rubini's L'Anima Gemella got its second-ever screening at the European Film Festival on April 10th, a day before its nationwide release and seven months after its first outing at last year's Venice Film Festival.

Local powerhouse Medusa had sealed a joint distribution deal with the Cecchi Gori Group last year, taking over Italian rights to the Rubini film as part of a package of Cecchi Gori titles - including Pinocchio - which had been left in limbo when Cecchi Gori couldn't afford to distribute the films.

But the future of the Rubini film - as well as Paolo Virzi's Venice comedy My Name Is Tanino - took an even more dramatic turn after it emerged that Cecchi Gori had failed to pay lab costs on the titles, and so despite the deal with Medusa, neither film could be released until the former distribution market leader had paid its debts.

The situation was finally resolved last month, although details of the saga and its outcome have not been revealed. "It was really painful for me, for everyone involved, but I always believed that somehow, in some way, my film would get a release," Rubini said at the Lecce festival.