Taormina Film Fest Awards: Polish Drama, Refugee Doc Among Winners

Courtesy of Seattle International Film Festival
'It Will be Chaos'

Matthew Modine was honored with the festival's lifetime achievement award.

The 64th Taormina Film Festival concluded in Sicily's famous 2,300-year-old open air theater Saturday, with Polish drama Once Upon a Time taking home the top prize for best film. The festival's first-ever all-female jury doled out the honors, led by producer Martha de Laurentiis.

Once Upon a Time in November, directed by Andrzej Jakimowski, tells the story of a mother and son being evicted from their home and roaming the streets in search of a home.

It Will be Chaos by Filippo Piscopo and Lorena Luciano won the award for best directors. The HBO documentary tells the personal stories behind the global refugee crisis.

Other American films also won big, including Leave No Trace, by Debra Granik, for best screenplay, and Leven Rambin in Tatterdemalion, by Ramaa Mosley, for best actress. 

And a special mention was given to Italian filmmaker Nino Monteleone for Be Kind

The festival also gave out honorary awards to its celebrity guests as is customary. Matthew Modine took home the festival's lifetime achievement award. 

Rupert Everett was honored for his new Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince. And Richard Dreyfuss was given the Tauro d'Oro (Golden Taurus) Award for excellence. 

The 65th edition of Taormina Film Fest is planned for June 2019.