The Taormina Film Festival (July 1-9) has handed out a series of life-time achievement awards in place of its usual prize-giving ceremony in a move to eliminate what festival director Felice Laudadio described as "unnecessary and destructive competition between film-makers."

Recipients of the honours - called the Taormina Arte Diamond Award - include Liam Neeson, Jane Campion, Tonino Guerra, Stephen Frears, Peter Weir, Melanie Griffith, Norman Jewison and South African director Darrell J. Roodt.

The honourees were asked to choose two to four films which best represent their work, with one of the films screening at Taormina's 10,000 seat Greco-Roman amphitheatre every night at midnight.