'Parents' perfect at RomaFictionFest

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ROME -- "Perfect Parents," a U.K. made-for-TV film about a couple that pretends to be Catholic in order to get their daughter into a good school, was the biggest prizewinner among the 140 projects that screened at the first RomaFictionFest, which concluded Saturday.

The film, from director Joe Ahearne and producer Nicole Cauvernier, won the centerpiece Maximo Diamond Award for the festival's best overall product. The award is a special trophy that includes more than 100 carats of diamonds. "Perfect Parents" also took home Maximo Awards -- given in 28 different categories -- for the best TV movie and to the film's star Christopher Eccleston, for best actor.

The first-year festival -- the second major festival to debut in the Italian capital in less than a year, following last October's RomaCinemaFest -- included more than 3,000 hours of programming over six days, including 29 world premieres.

"Perfect Parents" shared the spotlight during the July 2-7 festival's final days with "War & Peace," the 25 million euro ($33.8 million) adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy classic from Italy's Lux Vide and seven co-producers. The out-of-competition European premiere of the 400-minute production from director Robert Dornhelm and starring Malcolm McDowell started screening after a gala reception Friday night and continued into the early hours of Saturday morning.

Lux Vide officials said the film will screen for U.S. buyers on Wednesday at the CAA screening room in Los Angeles.

Other award winners at the RomaFictionFest included a best director nod for Russian Sergei Bobrov for his work on the TV film "Posledny Zaboy" and a best actress award for Anne Caillon for her role in "L'Etrangere Collection."

Canada's "Little Mosque on the Prairie" from Michael Kennedy won the award for the best series and Iran's Mohamad-Reza Hqnarmand won the prize for best director in a series for his work on "Zir-E Tigh."

The top awards for best mini-series went to Italian productions: Giacomo Campiotti's "Giuseppe Moscati" taking home the best mini-series prize and the best director nod to Marco Risi for "L'Ultimo Padrino" (The Last Godfather), based on the true life story of captured mob boss Bernardo Provenzano.

After 265 one-on-one meetings over three days of "speed dating" meetings between the creators of unfinished projects and producers and distributors who could help complete them, "Small Men" from independent producer Daniela Gazini was selected at the best mini-series, the best TV movie pitch was presented to "Plastic Sheets and Cardboard Boxes," and U.S. series "Midlife Mambo" from Wickham Boyle got the nod as the best series.
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