This article originally appeared in
October 28, 2007
RomaCinemaFest ends strong;
Popular 'Juno' wins Best Film


ROME -- True to its roots as a festival geared for the general public rather
than industry insiders and critics, the second RomaCinemaFest on Saturday
awarded its top prize to a playful U.S.-made comedy along side an
announcement that the festival drew 25% more spectators than it had a year

The so-called "people's jury" chose Jason Reitman's "Juno" -- a comedy
about a pregnant girl who tries to find a couple to adopt her baby -- for the
festival's golden Marcus Aurelius award for Best Film. The film, which started
to be mentioned as a favorite soon after it premiered Thursday, stars Ellen
Page as Juno, a Minnesota teenager facing an unwelcome pregnancy.

With the last film screened, festival organizers also announced Saturday that
the ten-day event had attracted some 600,000 visitors for its sophomore
edition, compared to 480,000 in 2006 -- even though fewer official selection
films (102 compared to 117) screened and fewer free tickets (30,000
compared to 47,000) were given out this time around.

"We have some exceptional results from a festival filled with exceptional
results," co-director Giorgio Gossetti said during a gala ceremony at Rome's
Parco della Musica, which included music from Oscar-winning composer
Ennio Morricone.

The full house reacted enthusiastically to the selection of "Juno" for the top
prize, was the runner up for the people's choice award at the Toronto Film
Festival in September. The response was a contrast to last year when the
Marcus Aurelius prize went to Kirill Serebrennikov's "Izobrajaya Zhertvy"
(Playing the Victim), a modern story loosely based on William
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" that was a darling of the critics but drew mixed
responses from movie goers.

"Juno" will go into limited release in the U.S. in December and in Europe
starting early in 2008.

Among the acting prizes, Croatia's Rade Serbedzija won the Best Actor prize
for his role as a Greek archeologist who saves a Jewish orphan during
World War II. And "Le Chun" (And the Spring Comes) star Jang Wenli won
the Best Actress prize for her portrayal of a provincial opera singer with big

The jury also selected Abolfaz Jalili's "Hafez," an Iranian film about a young
man assigned to teach a young girl he is prohibited from seeing because of
Islamic law, for a special jury prize.

The prizes for "Juno," Serbedzija, Jang, and Jalili were selected by a
50-member jury made up Italian and other European film fans chaired by
award-winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic.

Among the awards not selected by the popular jury were "La Giusta
Distanza" (The Right Distance) star Giuseppe Battiston, who won the prize
for Best Italian Performance; Battiston's co-star, Valentina Lodovini, who won
the prize for Best Makeup; Sean Penn's |Into the Wild," which won a prize for
the Best Film in the Premiere selection; and "Forbidden Lie$," which took
home the collateral prize for Best Documentary.
(c) 2007 The Hollywood Reporter
All rights reserved.
Volume 77; Number 9
Volume 77; Number 9
October 28, 2007
RomaCinemaFest ends
strong; Popular 'Juno' wins
Best Film

October 27, 2007
'Juno' takes home top prize
at RomaCinemaFest

'Canvas,' 'Pride' earn Rome
fest's Alice nods

October 26, 2007
Top prize still up for grabs at
Rome fest

October 25, 2007
'Haifa' earns New Cinema's
Italian nod

October 24, 2007
'Lambs' stars in like lions at
Rome fest

FilmItalia, UniFrance team
for young talent

October 23, 2007
Veneto buyer buzz builds on
Biz Street

Star wattage waning at
Rome fest

October 22, 2007
Coppola lights up Rome fest

October 20, 2007
Depardieu imposter fools
hotel staff in Rome

'Elizabeth,' Loren big draws
at Rome festival

'Elijah' first production at
new I am Third

October 19, 2007
RomaCinemaFest gets
Second Wind

Fellini script 'Viaggio' on
new voyage

October 18, 2007
Rome Fest dressed up in
second outing

Rome Fest dressed up in
second outing

October 12, 2007
RomaCinemaFest sets
sophomore bar higher

Fest success good news for
the last paparazzo

Film spotlight: "Youth
Without Youth"

Italy offers versatile
location, strong incentives

'Business Street' initiative a
high-end venue

RomaCinemaFest owes debt
to Auditorium

September 28, 2007
Rome Fest's love affair with
Hollywood continues