Serbian Oscar hopeful wins in Italian festival

BELGRADE -- Serbian director Goran Paskaljević's new film has won the Grand Prix of the International Film Festival in the Italian town of Terni, said reports.

Goran Paskaljević (Tanjug, file)
Goran Paskaljević (Tanjug, file)

The festival was held last week, with the focus on "family, peoples, and religions".

The movie, When Day Breaks (Kad svane dan), focuses on the discovery of his true identity of a retired music professor, whose family perished in a WW2 concentration camp in Belgrade ran by the occupying German Nazi forces.

This year Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi presided over the festival, while his Italian colleague Luca Manfredi served as the jury's president.

The event counted Nanni Moretti, Liliana Cavani and Catherine Spaak among its guests.

The festival's program director, Oreste Crisostomi, congratulated the Serbian director in a letter, to say that the audience welcomed the film with a standing ovation, while film critics present at the screening "found it to be a true master piece".

As Paskaljević did not attend the ceremony, Serbian embassy in Rome First Secretary Slavoljub Matić received the award on his behalf.

The movie is the Serbian candidate for in this year's Academy Awards' Best Foreign Film category, and is set to have its Belgrade premiere on December 24.