Techine earns art award at 53rd Taormina festival

Day sees 'Apache,' 'Kings' screenings

Director Andre Techine was presented with the Taormina Art Award on Monday just before the screening of his latest film, "Les Temoins" (The Witnesses), a provocative drama set amid the outbreak of AIDS in the 1980s.

Director Giuseppe Tornatore, a native of Sicily who was presented with a lifetime achievement award during the weekend, also was on hand Monday as three of his infrequently seen short films screened.

Tornatore took the occasion to announce that his newest film project will be called "Baaria." Based in Tunisia, the film had previously been announced but had been nameless.

Also screening Monday was the international premiere of "Fuerte Apache," a film about juvenile hardship in Spain from Jaume Mateu Adrover, and the world premiere of Tom Collins' "Kings," an Irish drama about a group of old friends who reunite for a funeral.

The 53rd edition of the Taormina event is building toward the world premiere of the mega-budgeted summer tentpole "Transformers" and the awarding of Italy's prestigious Nastri d'Argento (Silver Ribbon) awards, one of the country's top film prizes, which is selected by Italian film journalists.