Sacro GRA winner of the Golden Lion, Eastern Boys Orizzonti Award for Best Film
by Domenico La Porta
- A mostly European winners' list for the Mostra, which marks its 70th edition with the first Golden Lion for a documentary in its history
The 70th edition of the Venice Mostra ended this Saturday with a winners' list open to everyone's guesses, with no favourite emerging clearly throughout the competition.
The official jury chaired by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci marked the festival's history by awarding the Golden Lion for the very first time to a documentary film : the Italian-French movie Sacro GRA by Gianfranco Rosi, widely applauded by the press. The award confirms the shrewd intuition of Alberto Barbera, who this year introduced the documentary genre into the Mostra's official competition. It's also worth noting that an Italian film hadn't won the Golden Lion since 1998. International sales of Sacro GRA are being handled by the French company Doc and Films International.
More controversial, Alexander Avranas of Greece carried off the Silver Lion for Best Director with Miss Violence. The film swept up another award thanks to its leading actor, Thémis Papou, winner of the Volpi Cup for Best Actor.
German director Philip Gröning collected the Special Jury Prize for his movie The Police Officer's Wife.
The Osella Award for the Best Screenplay went to the Brits Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena directed by Stephen Frears. The winners were unfortunately unable to collect their prize on stage as they were in Toronto, held back "for business purposes" (sic). A rather misplaced comment, left for free interpretation on the part of the organizers of the young Venice Film Market.
Collaboration between Italy and France was honoured twice with the Volpi Cup for Best Actress, awarded to Elena Cotta for her role in Emma Dante's A Street in Palermo [+see also:
interview: Emma Dante
On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the festival was enriched with a series of new prizes, including one for the official competition : the Special Jury Prize, awarded to Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang for his film Stray Dogs. Two more prizes were added to the Orizzonti competition : the Prize for Best Director, which went to Uberto Pasolini, director of the Italian-British coproduction Still Life, and the Special Award for Innovative Content, won by Iranian director Shahram Mokri for the film Fish & Cats.
The Orizzonti Jury presided by American director Paul Shrader awarded its Prize for the Best Film to Eastern Boys by French director Robin Campillo, one of Cineuropa's favourites at the Mostra.
The Orizzonti Special Jury Prize went to the duo of Australian directors Michael Cody and Amiel Courtin-Wilson for their film Ruin.
A first European film presented in the Critics' Week won the Lion of the Future : White Shadows by Noaz Deshe, a coproduction between Italy, Germany and Tanzania.
American cinema will have to content itself with a single prize for the young Tye Sheridan, the protagonist in Joe directed by David Gordon Greene, who won the Marcello Mastroianni Prize for a young emerging actor.
Volpi Cup for Best Actor
Themis Panou - Miss Violence
Marcello Mastroianni Prize
Tye Sheridan - Joe
Special Jury Prize
Ruin - Michael Cody, Amiel Courtin-Wilson
Special Prize for Innovative Content
Fish and Cats - Shahram Mokri
Best Short Film
Kush - Shubhashish Bhutiani
(Translated from French)
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