Sunday, September 11, 2011

Venice Film Festival Winners

Venice Festival Scene at Night

Leone d'oro

Aleksander Sokurov, director of Best Film, FAUST

The 68th Venice Film Festival (La Biennale di Venezia), under the direction of Marco Müller, and the longest running international film festival, closed last night. The closing movie, Damsels in Distress (USA, 2011), screened out of competition, and happened to have been written, directed, and produced by an acquaintance of mine, Whit Stillman, whom I met in Barcelona, Spain.

Whit Stillman
Whit, like Woody Allen, writes, casts, directs and produces all his movies through his company Westernly Films. His movie Metropolitan burst on the movie scene in 1990, and garnered critical acclaim. It was followed by Barcelona in 1994, which, of course, is my favorite movie of his.

Damsels stars Adam Brody who played Seth Rogan in the TV series The OC, another of my favorites. His co-star is Greta Gerwig (No strings Attached, 2011). Others in key roles are Megalyn Echikunwoke and Analeigh Tipton. Sony Picture Classics is distributing. Good luck with this one, Whit!

Now, here are the top-five winners of the 68th Venice International Film Festival, decided by the Jury led by U.S. director Darren Aronofsky, and announced September 10, 2011:

Golden Lion (Leone d'oro) for Best Film: Faust by Aleksander (Also, Alexander) Sokurov (Russia). Movie is loosely based on Goethe's classic German story.
Shangjun Cai
Silver Lion (Leone d'Argento) for Best Director: Shangjun Cai for the film Ren Shan Ren Hai (People Mountain People Sea) (China - Hong Kong).
Special Jury Prize: Terraferma directed by Emanuele Crialese (Italy), and that title is not a typo.

Michael Fassbender

Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup) for Best Actor: Michael Fassbender (Lt. Hicox in Inglorious Basterds) for his role as Brandon in the movie Shame directed by Steve McQueen (United Kingdom). Basterds is not a typo, it is the actual title of the movie.

Deannie Yip


Coppa Volpi for Best Actress: Deannie Yip for her role as Ah Teo in the film Tao jie (A Simple Life) directed by Ann Hui (China - Hong Kong).

Click title of this post to go to the Venice IFF Official Web site. Full List of Winners.

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