"Juno," a U.S. film about a teenage girl who gets pregnant and tries to find a couple to adopt her baby, won best film Saturday at the Rome Film Festival.
The film is directed by 30-year-old Canadian-born Jason Reitman, whose 2005 comedy "Thank you for Smoking" scooped a string of awards and was nominated for two Golden Globes. It was first runner-up for the people's choice award at last month's Toronto International Film Festival.
Critics praised the performance by actress Ellen Page as Juno MacGuff, the quick witted young woman who falls pregnant at her first sexual experience. Suddenly plunged into adulthood, she sets out to find a suitable set of parents to adopt her unborn child.
The best actress award went to Chinese actress Jang Wenli for "Li Chun" (And the Spring Comes), about a provincial opera singer who dreams of becoming the star of the Beijing Opera in the years between the end of the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square uprising.
Rade Serbedzija of Croatia won best actor for his role in the Canadian-Greek production "Fugitive Pieces." In the film, he plays Athos, a Greek archaeologist who saves a Jewish child from Poland who is orphaned during World War II.
A 50-member public jury, made up of selected moviegoers from Italy and elsewhere in Europe, judged the in-competition films at the second annual Rome Film Festival. Bosnian director Danis Tanovic, who won the best foreign film Oscar with 2001's "No Man's Land," presided over the jury.
Source: AP, Canada.com and IHT