Considered as a prelude to the Oscars, the oldest film festival in the world, that of Venice – still took place this year, despite a lot of restrictions.
The winners of the 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival have been announced. This was the first main event for the film industry, which took place in front of an audience, since the pandemic outbreak.
Actors, directors and producers celebrated their work at a ceremony at the Venice Lido.
The most prestigious honour, the Golden Lion, was given to the film Nomadland, a production about the nomad community who travel in vans. The film by Chinese director Chloé Zhao, focussed on the story of a widow played by Frances McDormand who lived as a nomad during the financials crisis of 2008. This is the first time that the highest honour was won by a woman in ten years.
British actress Vanessa Kirby, who was competing in the festival with two films, won best actress for her role in Pieces of A Woman, the story of a woman who loses her baby girl.
“We all experience grief in different ways and we’ve all lost people and I hope in someway it unites us and makes us feel less alone because you watch one woman’s story of navigating that grief, which is an extremely individual, private, solitary journey and I hope even in a tiny way it makes it more, perhaps less solitary knowing that something is represented on the screen that might touch on what you feel,” said Vanessa Kirby.
The best actor award was givne to Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino. The two Silver Lions which were awarded by the fury led by actress Cate Blanchett, went to a Japanese director and a Mexican director. The best director was given to Kiyoshi Kurosawa, for his film, Wife of a Spy, while Mexican director Michel Franco was awarded the jury’s prize for best film, for his thriller New Order, a film which predicts a world where social and economic discrepancies lead to a society which no longer remains sustainable.
“We must bring attention to this issue and change the course that the world has been on since such a long time ago because if we don’t correct the situation, it will explode, it’s a ticking bomb,” said director Michel Franco.
Veteran Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky won the special jury’s prize for his film Dear Comrades!, about the 1962 massacre against workers who were excising their right to strike in Novocherkassk, the former Soviet Union.
Despite the particular challenges of this edition, the festival director Alberto Barbera said he was happy with how the evening went.
“It is possible to get back to theatres, to get back to restart, to reopen cinemas to start shooting films again. It can be done with all the necessary safety measures that for example the ones that we put in place here in Venice,” he said.
He said that despite the restrictions, the evening attracted around 50% of the audiences who usually attend the festival.