'Gang' rules at Giffoni children's fest


ROME -- Pantham Thongsangl's "Ma mha 4 khaa khrap" (Mid-Road Gang) was voted best film at the Giffoni Film Festival, highlighted this year by the Italian premiere of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

The 37th edition of the star-studded children's film festival, which wrapped Saturday, included visits from Danny De Vito and Roman Polanski and sneak previews of several highly anticipated titles, including "The Simpsons Movie."

"Gang" -- which centers on a pack of stray dogs in Bangkok and screened in the kids category for ages 6-9 -- was awarded the Golden Gryphon, the festival's top prize.

"Keith" from U.S. director Todd Kessler won in the 15-19 category. The film is about an honors student who falls for a shadowy boy.

"Forostsungar" (Kidz in Da Hood) -- a film about a girl who dreams of moving to Sweden to be a singer, from Swedish directors Catti Edfeldt and Ylva Gustavsson -- won the prize for the 9-12 age group. And French director Thomas Gilou won the 12-14 category with "Michou d'Auber," a film about an Algerian boy in a French foster home.

More than 2,000 children -- many of who were able to ask the directors questions about their films after the screenings -- voted to select the prizewinners. The July 12-21 festival took place near Naples.
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