Venice Film Festival Announces Full List of 2016 Winners

Originally published on Mxdwn Movies. Click here to view.


The 2016 Venice Film Festival has already ended, but the buzz surrounding high profile movies lingers on. The festival ran from Aug. 31 to Sept. 10. The awards ceremony on Friday cemented the status of some early Oscar frontrunners, including Tom Ford’s Nocturnal AnimalsJackie and La La Land. Sam Mendes led the jury to announce some predictable and surprising wins, which is to be expected from the Venice Film Festival awards. See the full list of winners below.

Golden Lion — The Woman Who Left, dir. Laz Diaz


Filipino director Laz Diaz picked up the prestigious Golden Lion award for The Woman Who Left, a four-hour, black and white drama. Inspired by the Leo Tolstoy short, “God Sees the Truth But Waits,” The Woman Who Left centers on a woman who has been wrongly convicted of a crime and subsequently spends 30 years in jail. After a friend admits to framing her, she tries to settle back into a normal lifestyle. Diaz’s last lengthy film, A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, claimed the Silver Bear in the Berlin International Film Festival last year.

Read Variety’s review here.

Grand Jury Prize — Nocturnal Animals, dir. Tom Ford


Returning to the silver screen seven years after his directorial debut with A Single Man, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals snagged the Grand Jury Prize. Boasting a phenomenal cast with Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney and Michael Sheen, Nocturnal Animals sees Ford take on a dramatic thriller in his sophomore debut. Adams stars as an art gallery owner who is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, which she interprets as a veiled threat and symbolic revenge tale.

Read Variety’s review here.

Silver Lion, Best Director — Amat Escalante for La Region Salvaje and Andrei Konchalovsky for Paradise


In an unexpected turn, Amat Escalante and Andrei Konchalovsky shared the Silver Lion for Best Director. La Region Salvaje (The Untamed) is a Mexican horror film that follows a mysterious woman named Verónica who descends from the mountains near a meteorite hill. She then enters the lives of a couple with a struggling marriage, Ángel and Alejandra. Paradise (pictured above) is a Russian-German Holocaust movie that illustrates the relationship between a concentration camp inmate and an SS officer. Olga is an aristocrat imprisoned after housing Jews in occupied France during World War II. Upon arriving at the concentration camp, she discovers that her old flame, Helmut, is an SS officer. The two rekindle their relationship and plot to escape.

Read Variety’s La Region Salvaje review here, and Paradise review here.

Volpi Cup, Best Actress — Emma Stone, La La Land


Reuniting once more with Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone stars as Mia, an aspiring actress and playwright, in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. After the success of Whiplash, Chazelle returned to direct an old-fashioned musical that has been receiving rave reviews and will certainly pick up some awards consideration come 2017. Set in the heart of Los Angeles, La La Land sees Mia falling in love with jazz musician Sebastian (Gosling), but as success mounts and dreams get shattered, their relationship begins to break apart.

Read Variety’s review here.

Volpi Cup, Best Actor — Oscar Martinez, El Ciudadano Ilustre

Oscar Martinez won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor for his performance in El Ciudadano Ilustrate (The Distinguished Citizen). Martinez plays an Argentine Nobel Prize-winning author who returns to his small home town for the first time in 40 years. Upon realizing that he has built his career on a critique of the town, the citizen’s pride at his recognition quickly turns to hostility and derision.

Read Variety’s review here.

Best Screenplay — Noah Oppenheim, Jackie


Although Natalie Portman has been receiving all the attention for her turn as Jackie Kennedy in Jackie, screenwriter Noah Oppenheim picked up the Best Screenplay award at the Venice Film Festival. Jackie follows a four-day period in Mrs. Kennedy’s life, beginning right before the assassination of her husband to the days that followed. Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín directed the well-reviewed historical drama, although he is currently best known for the 2013 Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination No.

Read Variety’s review here.

Special Jury Prize — The Bad Batch, dir. Ana Lily Amirpour


Director Ana Lily Amirpour snagged the Special Jury Prize for her original horror-comedy, The Bad Batch. Amirpour previously made headlines for her black-and-white Iranian vampire western, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Starring Jason Momoa, Suki Waterhouse, Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves, The Bad Batch follows Arlen as she is dumped into a Texan dystopian wasteland where she must fend off savage cannibals.

Read Variety’s review here.

Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress — Paula Beer, Frantz


21-year-old Paula Beer scooped up the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actress for her performance in Frantz. The German actress previously starred in The Poll Diaries, The Taste of Apple Seeds and 4 Kings. In Frantz, Beer stars as Anna Hoffmeister, a young woman who is grieving the death of her fiancée in France during the aftermath of World War I. When visiting her fiancée’s grave, she sees a mysterious man lay flowers upon it.

Read Variety’s review here.

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