Gay romance Brotherhood wins top Rome film fest prize

Brotherhood, the debut feature from a former fashion photographer turned filmmaker, has won the top prize at the Rome International Film Festival.

Brotherhood, the debut feature from a former fashion photographer turned filmmaker, has won the top prize at the Rome International Film Festival.

Organizers announced this year's winners on Friday.

After directing music videos, commercials and several short films, Danish-Italian director Nicolo Donato made his feature-length debut with Brotherhood.

Winner of the festival's Golden Marc'Aurelio Jury Award for 2009, the film explores a surprising love affair that develops between two men who are members of a violent neo-Nazi group.

The festival jury, led by award-winning filmmaker Milos Forman, also awarded its best actress honour to Helen Mirren, who portrays the noblewoman wife of Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station, and best actor to Sergio Castellitto, who plays a singer father raising his son to be a boxer in the Italian film Alza la Testa.

Director Giorgio Diritti scored two awards for his Second World War-set drama L'Uomo che verra (The Man Who Will Come), a grand jury honour and the audience award for best film.

Among the other awards presented, organizers paid tribute to American actress Meryl Streep, who received the festival's Golden Marc'Aurelio Acting Award for her care.