'Happening' & Jane Campion Winners at 2021 Venice Film Festival

September 11, 2021
Source: Biennale

Venice 2021 Golden Lion

A remarkable year for female filmmakers! Sian Heder's CODA won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, Julia Ducournau's Titane won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, and now Audrey Diwan's Happening wins the Golden Lion in Venice. The 78th Venice Film Festival wrapped up this weekend on the sunny Lido island in Venice, and awards were handed out at an awards show complete with masks and empty seats for social distancing. The top prize at Venice is a Golden Lion (in honor of the iconic lion that is the symbol of the city) and it's one of the greatest achievements in cinema along with the Palme d'Or. This year's winner is a French film titled L'événement, which translates to Happening, set in the 1960s following a young woman who attempts to get an abortion despite it being illegal at the time. Not my favorite film of the festival, but it is a brave and important film nonetheless. Kiwi filmmaker Jane Campion also picked up the Best Director award, which she certainly deserves for her new film. The full list of #Venezia78 winners can be seen below.

Main Venice Awards

The Venezia 2021 Jury, chaired by Bong Joon Ho, with Saverio Costanzo, Virginie Efira, Cynthia Erivo, Sarah Gadon, Alexander Nanau, and Chloé Zhao, having viewed all 21 films in the competition, has decided:

Golden Lion for Best Film:
Happening (L'événement) by Audrey Diwan (France)

Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize:
The Hand of God (È stata la mano di Dio) by Paolo Sorrentino (Italy)

Silver Lion Award for Best Director:
Jane Campion for the film The Power of the Dog

Coppa Volpi for Best Actress:
Penélope Cruz in the film Parallel Mothers by Pedro Almodóvar

Coppa Volpi for Best Actor:
John Arcilla in the film On the Job: The Missing 8 by Erik Matti

Award for Best Screenplay:
Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal

Special Jury Prize:
Il Buco by Michelangelo Frammartino

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress:
Filippo Scotti in the film The Hand of God by Paolo Sorrentino

"Luigi De Laurentiis" Venice Award for a Debut Film:
Immaculate (Imaculat) by Monica Stan & George Chiper

Orizzonti Section Awards

The Orizzonti 2021 Jury, chaired by Jasmila Žbanić, and comprised of Mona Fastvold, Shahram Mokri, Josh Siegel e Nadia Terranova, after screening the 19 films + 12 shorts in the competition, has decided to award:

Orizzonti Award for Best Film:
Pilgrims (Piligrimai) by Laurynas Bareiša (Lithuania)

Orizzonti Award for Best Director:
Full Time (À Plein Temps) by Éric Gravel (France)

Special Orizzonti Jury Prize:
The Great Movement (El Gran Movimiento) by Kiro Russo

Orizzonti Award for Best Actress:
Laure Calamy in the film Full Time (À Plein Temps) by Éric Gravel

Orizzonti Award for Best Actor:
Piseth Chhun in the film White Building (Bodeng Sar) by Kavich Neang

Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay:
Peter Kerekes & Ivan Ostrochovský for 107 Mothers (Cenzorka)

That's all for now. For the full list of awards (including a few more), head to Congratulations to all of the winners this year. All of the winners are worthy selections, there's no doubt about that. I'm just upset at the Golden Lion pick. It's a good film, but not deserving of the Golden Lion by a long shot. More of a political choice than a filmmaking choice. The Power of the Dog and Happening should be switched - and this would be the perfect set of awards for Venice 2021. I think Campion's film really deserves the top prize, it won me over and has been on my mind the entire fest. I am also very happy to see the French thriller Full Time winning two awards in the Orizzonti section - it was one of my favorite discoveries of the fest (read my review). Overall, I'm glad Bong Joon-ho was here to lead the jury, but perhaps not the strongest line-up of competition films to watch this year. As always, great films matter beyond the awards they do or do not win. Even though Spencer is one of my top films, it didn't win anything this year, but it still demands to be seen.

Find more posts: Awards, Movie News, Venice 21



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