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VENICE 2020 Awards

Chloé Zhao's Nomadland wins the Golden Lion at the 77th Venice Film Festival

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- VENICE 2020: Portugal’s Ana Rocha de Sousa has won the Lion of the Future for Listen, while other European victors include New Order and Padrenostro

Chloé Zhao's Nomadland wins the Golden Lion at the 77th Venice Film Festival
Pierfrancesco Favino with his Volpi Cup for Best Actor for Padrenostro (© La Biennale di Venezia)

The 77th Venice Film Festival has awarded Nomadland by Chloé Zhao the Golden Lion. Zhao thus becomes only the fifth female director – after Sofia Coppola, Mira Nair, Agnès Varda and Margarethe von Trotta – to win Venice’s top prize. The director and her lead actress, Frances McDormand, sent an acceptance speech by video from the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles.

Australia’s Cate Blanchett, the chair of the jury, announced the prizewinners at the awards ceremony for the gathering, an event that will be remembered for being the first A-list festival to happen since lockdown. That it managed to take place physically, with masks being worn by all guests and not just the superheroes on screen, was a huge achievement in and of itself.

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Blanchett and her fellow jurors, actor Matt Dillon (USA), director Veronika Franz (Austria), director Joanna Hogg (Great Britain), writer Nicola Lagioia (Italy), director Christian Petzold (Germany) and actress Ludivine Sagnier (France), feted a number of European productions. The Mexican-French dystopian tale New Order [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Michel Franco won the Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize. The Volpi Cup for Best Actor went to Italian thesp Pierfrancesco Favino for his turn in Padrenostro [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Claudio Noce
film profile
]
, directed by Claudio Noce. The Volpi Cup for Best Actress went to the UK’s Vanessa Kirby for her critically acclaimed work in Pieces of a Woman [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kornél Mundruczó and Kata W…
film profile
]
by Kornél Mundruczó. Furthermore, Dear Comrades [+see also:
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]
 by Andrey Konchalovskiy won the Special Jury Award.

Blanchett said, “There were a lot of extraordinary performances by actresses this year, but the one that had to be awarded was Vanessa Kirby.” The Brit gave the night’s most memorable speech. She thanked the producers for “taking a chance on me in my first lead role”, and talked about her hope that the film “may encourage conversation and support around the women, families and fathers who have lost children”.

Picking up his Silver Lion, Franco said that when he started making New Order six years ago, he could not have imagined that the world would be in such a dark place now. He talked about how the Yellow Vest movement in France had spread throughout Latin America and how the demands for change were now part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Earlier on in the evening, the president of the Orizzonti jury, French filmmaker Claire Denis, and her fellow jurors Christine Vachon (USA), Katriel Schory (Israel), Francesca Comencini (Italy) and Oskar Alegria (Spain) selected The Wasteland by Iran's Ahmad Bahrami as Best Film. Listen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ana Rocha de Sousa
film profile
]
 by Ana Rocha de Sousa was awarded the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize, topping off a huge night for the Portuguese-UK co-production, which also won the Lion of the Future - “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film. The Portuguese actress-turned-director broke down in tears on stage after her unexpected victory.

Also honoured was Khansa Batma, who won Best Actress for her performance in the French-Belgian-Moroccan co-production Zanka Contact [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Ismaël El Iraki. Remarkably, it was the musician’s first-ever acting performance. Yahya Mahayni won Best Actor for playing a work of art in The Man Who Sold His Skin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
film profile
]
by Kaouther Ben Hania. Finally, Pietro Castellitto took home Best Screenplay for The Predators [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pietro Castellitto
film profile
]
, which he also directed.

Here is the full list of winners:

Competition

Golden Lion for Best Film
Nomadland - Chloé Zhao (USA)

Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize
New Order [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Michel Franco (Mexico/France)

Silver Lion - Award for Best Director
Kiyoshi Kurosawa - Wife of a Spy (Japan)

Volpi Cup for Best Actress
Vanessa Kirby - Pieces of a Woman [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kornél Mundruczó and Kata W…
film profile
]
(Canada/Hungary)

Volpi Cup for Best Actor
Pierfrancesco Favino - Padrenostro [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Claudio Noce
film profile
]
(Italy)

Award for Best Screenplay
Chaitanya Tamhane - The Disciple (India)

Special Jury Prize
Dear Comrades [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Andrei Konchalovsky (Russia)

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent
Rouhollah Zamani - Sun Children (Iran)

Orizzonti

Best Film
The Wasteland - Ahmad Bahrami (Iran)

Best Director
Lav Diaz - Genus Pan (Philippines)

Special Jury Prize
Listen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ana Rocha de Sousa
film profile
]
- Ana Rocha de Sousa (Portugal/UK)

Best Actress
Khansa Batma - Zanka Contact [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(France/Morocco/Belgium)

Best Actor
Yahya Mahayni - The Man Who Sold His Skin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
film profile
]
(Tunisia/France/Belgium/Germany/Sweden)

Best Screenplay
The Predators [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pietro Castellitto
film profile
]
- Pietro Castellitto (Italy)

Best Short Film
Entre tú y Milagros - Mariana Saffon (Colombia/USA)

Lion of the Future - "Luigi de Laurentiis" Award for a Debut Film
Listen - Ana Rocha de Sousa

Venice Virtual Reality

Best VR
The Hangman at Home - Michelle and Uri Kranot (Denmark/France/Canada)

Best Experience
Finding Pandora X - Kiira Benzing (USA)

Best VR Story
Killing a Superstar - Fan Fan (China)

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