Italian director wins main Babelgum award

Andrea Lodovichetti gets Looking for Genius award

CANNES -- New Italian director Andrea Lodovichetti was presented with the Babelgum Looking for Genius award, one of seven awards presented as part of Babelgum's online film festival that attracted more than 1,000 entries from 86 countries.

Director Spike Lee presented the 32-year-old Lodovichetti with Babelgum's top award, for his work on "Sotto il mio giardino" (Under My Garden), the story of a young boy who believes his love of insects gives him evidence to solve what he imagines to be a local murder case.

Italy and France were the only two countries with a pair of winners each: Lodovichetti's compatriot Emanuel Exitu won the festival's documentary award for "Greater -- Defeating AIDS." And France's Remy Schaepman won the animation award for "Quidam Degomme" (A Sheep on a Roof) with the advertising award presented to "The Pocket Crossborder" director Ambroise Becchio.

Other winners were U.S. director Richard Recco, who won the Short Film award for "Officer Down"; Irish director Brian Deane, who won the Social-Environment prize for "Without Words"; and Music Video award winner "Mouthface" directed by Belgium's Antonin de Bemels.

Each winner received 20,000 euros ($31,000) for use in developing future projects.

Viewers on the Babelgum web voted in each category in order to reduce the field to a total of 70 films between the seven categories. A panel of experts reduced each category's short list to three films before Lee selected each of the seven winners.