'Resolution 819' takes Rome's top prize

Nearly two-thirds of festival's moviegoers voted

ROME -- "Resolution 819," Giacomo Battiato's dramatic exploration of the Balkans conflict, took home the top prize Friday at the third annual Rome International Film Festival.

The Marcus Aurelius prize, which includes a 75,000 euro ($97,000) cash award, is selected by a popular vote from festivalgoers weighted in proportion to the number of tickets sold for each of the 20 competition films. The festival said that nearly two-thirds of the viewers voted on the films they saw.

It was the first time the prize went to a film at least partially produced in Italy. "Resolution 819" is a French-Polish-Italian co-production and Battiato is Italian.

The previous two winners were Jason Reitman's comic hit "Juno," which won the prize in 2007, and the cerebral "Izobrajaya Zhertvy" (Playing the Victim) from Russia's Kirill Serebrennikov, which won the inaugural Marcus Arelius prize.

A second jury award -- which does not carry a cash prize -- went to "Opium War" from Siddiq Barmak. The jury also selected Donatella Finocchiaro as the festival's best actress for her work in Edoardo Winspeare's "Galantuomini," while "Serce na dloni" (With a Warm Heart) star Bohdan Stupka took the best actor award.

The two main awards for the Alice in the City sidebar for films for young viewers also were announced Friday, with Philippe Muyl's "Magique!" winning the prize for films aimed at viewers age 8-12, and Kenneth Glenaan's "Summer" taking home the award for viewers age 13-17.

The prizes were handed out in a packed auditorium at the main Parco della Musica venue and followed by a fireworks display in drizzly skies.