Pupi Avati, 'Off Frame' Highlights as Rome Film Festival Nears End

"Il Cuore Grande delle Ragazze" and "Human Song" snag awards; "Pina" director Wim Wenders makes an appearance.

ROME – The Rome International Film Festival moved into its second half Tuesday, with the world premiere of Pupi Avati’s Il Cuore Grande delle Ragazze (The Big Heart of Girls) getting the evening’s red carpet treatment and Off Frame, which tells the story of Palestine’s struggle for self determination, winning New Cinema Network’s co-production development award.

Il Cuore Grande delle Ragazze, a quirky love story set in rural 1930s Italy, features a cast that includes Avati standby Gianni Cavina and singer Cesare Cremonini in his first major film role. It was well received by large crowds swollen by the fact that Tuesday, All Saint’s Day, is a legal holiday in Italy.

Off Frame, directed by Mohanad Yaqubi, illustrates key moments in the Palestinian struggle. The award earned Yaqubi €30,000 ($41,200), for, as the jury said in a statement “highlighting the importance of filmmaking as a revolutionary tool to inspire people to fight for change.”

The Network's Focus Europe Award went to "Human Song" by Belgian helmers Benedicte Lienard and Mary Jimenez. Lienard's well-received first work, "A Piece of Sky," unspooled in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

Earlier, Wim Wenders, in town for the screening of his 3D documentary of dancer Pina Bausch called Pina, said he believed the future of cinema would be in three dimensions. “The technology will get better and cheaper and the end product is superior,” Wenders said.

The festival, which got underway Oct. 27, concludes Friday.

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