VENICE (AP) – The Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival went to the abortion drama “L’événement” by French director Audrey Diwan. The jury announced this Saturday evening.
“Happening,” as the work is called in English, tells the story of a young Anne who inadvertently becomes pregnant in France in the early 1960s and wants to have an abortion. This is illegal, so Ann is desperately looking for another way out.
It is the sixth golden lion in the festival’s history to be awarded to a director’s work. Last year’s winner was also a woman: Chloe Chow for “Nomadland.” The Golden Lion last went to a French filmmaker in 1987. Louis Malle was awarded the “Farewell, Children” award.
The second most important award for Paolo Sorrentino
The jury’s grand prize, the festival’s second most important prize, went to “È stata la mano di Dio (Hand of God)” for this festival edition. In it, Italian Paolo Sorrentino (La Grande Bellezza – The Great Beauty) recalls his youth in Naples.
New Zealander Jane Campion, who once had international success with “Das Piano”, received the Best Director award for sister drama “The Power of the Dog” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons.
The Spanish jury honored Penelope Cruz as Best Actress for Madres Paralelas. In the drama by Pedro Almodovar, the 47-year-old Oscar winner (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”) plays one of two mothers who get pregnant without a plan.
Madres paralelas opened the 78th Venice Film Festival on September 1. The Best Actor Award went to John Arquilla for the Filipino corruption drama “On the Job: The Missing 8” by Eric Mattei.
21 works competed for prizes
American actress Maggie Gyllenhaal won the award for best screenplay for “The Lost Daughter.” The drama is also her directorial debut. Italian cave explorer “Il buco” directed by Michelangelo Framartino received the Special Jury Prize.
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest in the world. In this year’s competition, 21 works competed for prizes. The awards were presented by an international jury. Its boss was the Oscar-winning South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”).
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