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Italy's Festival dei Popoli Docu Fest Gives Top Prize to 'Per Ulisse'

The 54-year-old Tuscan festival got underway a week ago with the Italian premiere of "We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks."

FLORENCE, Italy -- The 54th edition of the Festival dei Popoli closed Saturday with the top prize going to Giovanni Cioni's Per Ulisse, a documentary exploring the fringes of Florence.

The three-person jury -- made up of U.S. director J.P. Sniadecki, Dutch producer Pieter van Huystee, and Spanish festival director Cinta Peleja -- said Cioni's work, an Italian-French co-production, "transformed unforgettable moments of storytelling into eccentric cinema," saying it showed "the beauty present in every human being." 

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The festival, one of the world's oldest festivals focusing purely on documentaries, which is held at Florence's historic Odeon Cinema, got underway Nov. 30 with the Italian premiere of We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney.

The festival's special jury prize to Costa da Morte from Spain's Lois Patiño, while 'A Lucata from Switzerland's Michele Pennetta and Chinese documentary The Questioning (Cha Fang) from Zhu Rikun won the medium-length and short-length documentary categories, respectively.

Twitter: @EricJLyman