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Venice Film Festival winners

While women celebrated in bulk at this year's festival on the Lido, cinema from MENA walked away with a few gems of recognition -- not enough in our opinion!
Venice Film Festival winners

We are going to put it out there: Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon should have won best screenplay for Ana Lily Amirpour. There, we said it. Even if we couldn't be happier for Maggie Gyllenhaal and her well-deserved recognition. Bringing Elena Ferrante's The Lost Daughter to the big screen was an achievement for the actress turned director and doing it despite all odds in our times of pandemic, was a feat of wonder. Yet Amirpour should have walked away with something, even best direction maybe? Her film is what cinema is all about -- a fantasy fable with a few learning lessons drizzled in, all wrapped in beautiful tones of creativity.

Before kicking off the celebrations, festival director Alberto Barbera said on the red carpet that Venezia 78 allowed "everyone to understand what we wish to do here at the festival -- balance pop culture with arthouse films." La Biennale president Roberto Cicutto added that the festival taught us that "showing respect for each other also means our own personal safety," at a festival where only two cases of Covid-19 were confirmed and immediately dealt with according to safety measures tried and tested as of last year's edition.

Serena Rossi was the "godmother" or madrina of the festival this year. She kicked off the ceremony with grace and elegance, while words like "intense" and "incredible" flashed on the screen -- yes we watched the broadcast from home! "We came back home to the cinema, finally," Rossi said, "our passion for cinema lives on in the shade of the wings of the Lion of Venice." For those of us on the Lido for the event, the Venice Film Festival did it right, with a class and organization many of us born in Italy wish we could see from our politicians. But then, nothing unites the world as film does, and nothing divides it more than politics.

The good news for Arab cinema is that Mohamed Diab's Amira, which screened in the Orizzonti competition, scored three prizes, which were handed out earlier on awards day: the INTERFILM Award; for promoting Interreligious Dialogue, the collateral Award “ Lanterna Magica” given by the jury of C.G.S - Cinecircoli Giovanili Socioculturali as well as the collateral prize CICT-UNESCO Award "Enrico Fulchignoni" describing it as a narrative that is both intimate and unanimous.

In the Critics' Week line-up the Iranian film Zalava directed by Arsalan Amiri, produced by Rouhollah Baradari and Samira Baradari won the "Grand Prize" in the competition section of their 36th edition as well as the FIPRESCI award.

There were also two awards bestowed on films which were supported by the Doha Film Institute. One for filmmaker Kiro Russio who nabbed the Venice Orizzonti Jury Prize for El Gran Movimiento and the other for actor Piseth Chhun who won the Orizzonti Best Actor Award for his turn in the DFI-granted White Building by Kavich Neang.

And of course, we loved Paolo Sorrentino's wins, both for the film The Hand of God and for discovering fresh new talent Filippo Scotti who walked away with the Marcello Mastroianni award for Best Young Actor or Actress. Take our word for it, he's a star to look out for!

When collecting his Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize, Sorrentino mentioned a moment in his life, after breaking down overwhelmed with emotions. "At my parents' funeral," he said, "the school sent only four of my classmates and I felt bad that day." Sorrentino then continued, "Today, the whole class came and it's actually you who are here," celebrating his win, which more than made up for it.

See all the winners below.

VENEZIA 78

The Venezia 78 Jury, chaired by Bong Joon Ho and comprised of Saverio Costanzo, Virginie Efira, Cynthia Erivo, Sarah Gadon, Alexander Nanau and Chloé Zhao, having viewed all 21 films in competition, has decided as follows:

GOLDEN LION for Best Film to:
L’ÉVÉNEMENT (HAPPENING)
by Audrey Diwan (France)

SILVER LION – GRAND JURY PRIZE to:
È STATA LA MANO DI DIO (THE HAND OF GOD)
by Paolo Sorrentino (Italy)

SILVER LION – AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR to:
Jane Campion
for the film THE POWER OF THE DOG (New Zealand, Australia)

COPPA VOLPI
for Best Actress:
Penélope Cruz
in the film MADRES PARALELAS (PARALLEL MOTHERS) by Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)

COPPA VOLPI
for Best Actor:
John Arcilla
in the film ON THE JOB: THE MISSING 8 by Erik Matti (Philippines)

AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY to:
Maggie Gyllenhaal
for the film THE LOST DAUGHTER by Maggie Gyllenhaal (Greece, USA, UK, Israel)

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE to:
IL BUCO
by Michelangelo Frammartino (Italy, France, Germany)

MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD
for Best Young Actor or Actress to:
Filippo Scotti
in the film È STATA LA MANO DI DIO (THE HAND OF GOD) by Paolo Sorrentino (Italy)

ORIZZONTI

The Orizzonti Jury, chaired by Jasmila Žbanić  and comprised of Mona Fastvold, Shahram Mokri, Josh Siegel e Nadia Terranova, after screening the 19 feature-length films and 12 short films in competition, has decided as follows:

ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST FILM to:
PILIGRIMAI (PILGRIMS)
by Laurynas Bareiša (Lithuania)

ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR to:
Éric Gravel
for the film À PLEIN TEMPS (FULL TIME) (France)

SPECIAL ORIZZONTI JURY PRIZE to:
EL GRAN MOVIMIENTO
by Kiro Russo (Bolivia, France, Qatar, Switzerland)

ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS to:
Laure Calamy
in the film À PLEIN TEMPS (FULL TIME) by Éric Gravel (France)

ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR to:
Piseth Chhun
in the film BODENG SAR (WHITE BUILDING) by Kavich Neang (Cambodia, France, China, Qatar)

ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY to:
Peter Kerekes, Ivan Ostrochovský
for the film CENZORKA (107 Mothers) by Peter Kerekes (Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Ukraine)

ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM to:
LOS HUESOS (THE BONES)
by Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña (Chile)

VENICE SHORT FILM NOMINATION FOR THE EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2021 to:
FALL OF THE IBIS KING
by Josh O’Caoimh, Mikai Geronimo (Ireland)

VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM

The Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film Jury of the 78th Venice International Film Festival, chaired by Uberto Pasolini and comprised of Martin Schweighofer and Amalia Ulman,  has decided to award the:

LION OF THE FUTURE
“LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM to:
IMACULAT
by Monica Stan, George Chiper-Lillemark (Romania)
GIORNATE DEGLI AUTORI

VENICE VR EXPANDED

The Venice VR EXPANDED Jury, chaired by Michelle Kranot and comprised of Maria Grazia Mattei and Jonathan Yeo, after viewing the 23 projects in competition has decided as follows:

GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR BEST VR WORK to:
GOLIATH: PLAYING WITH REALITY
by Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla (UK, France)

BEST VR EXPERIENCE FOR INTERACTIVE CONTENT to:
LE BAL DE PARIS DE BLANCA LI
by Blanca Li (France, Germany, Luxembourg)

BEST VR STORY to:
END OF NIGHT
by David Adler (Denmark, France)

ORIZZONTI EXTRA

ARMANY BEAUTY AUDIENCE AWARD to:

Sokea mies, joka ei halunnut nähdä Titanicia(The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic)
by Teemu Nikki (Finland)

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