Religious film fest ushers in winners


ROME -- The Catholic group Religion Today honored films from Iran, Israel and Spain as the 10th annual International Festival of Cinema and Religion at Italy's northern city of Trento concluded Friday.

The 16-day festival, which honors films that "promote a culture of peace and dialogue between religions through the medium of cinema," gave its top prize to "The Sun Shines on All Equally" from Iranian director Abbas Rafei.

The documentary prize went to Israeli director Lena Chaplin's "Yoel, Israel & Pashkavils," while "Milagros" (Miracles), from Spain's Javier Figuero, won the award for best short film.

The festival has a different theme every year, and this year's lineup focused on the themes of "compassion and conflict along the paths of faith." The festival screens more than 50 films, with winners and select other films from the lineup screened at other festivals in sidebars and in schools around the world.