77th Venice Film Festival 2020 Highlights & Winners List
Nomadland Dominates At Venice Film Festival 2020
The Venice Film Festival was the first major film festival to take place since the Coronavirus pandemic started. With guests socially distanced and wearing masks, the prestigious festival went ahead, with the US film, Nomadland, winning the top prize, the Golden Lion.
Nomadland stars Frances McDormand as a widow living as a nomad after the 2008 financial crisis. McDormand is magnificently natural as Fern, and along with Chloé Zhao, the writer and director, they make a great team. They deliver an illuminating, tough-minded portrait of older Americans displaced by society. Frances McDormand gives an exceptional performance alongside Zhao’s perfect direction. Michel Franco’s thriller New Order and historic drama Wife of a Spy by Japan’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa were also met with acclaim.
Cate Blanchett acted as Jury President for the 77th Venice Film festival. The Australian actress said the winner had been chosen after “healthy and robust” deliberations with jury members.
Roughly half of the seats at the venues on the waterfront were left vacant, and only a few celebrities made the trip to the world’s oldest film festival.
British actress, Vanessa Kirby, won the Best Actress award, while Best Actor went to the Italian actor, Pierfrancesco Favino. Vanessa Kirby has been considered a rising star in recent years, starting with her critically acclaimed performance as Princess Margret in The Crown, which gave global recognition. Kirby recently starred in numerous blockbusters including Mission Impossible Fallout and Hobbs & Shaw. The film, Pieces Of A Woman, starring Shia LaBeouf & Vanessa Kirby, has since been picked up by Netflix to be streaming worldwide soon.
Zhao is the first woman to win the festival’s Golden Lion in 10 years and McDormand spoke via Video Link from California. “Thank you so much for letting us come to your festival in this weird, weird, weird world and way,” McDormand said.
The festival’s Grand Jury prize went to Franco’s film, while Kurosawa was named the best director. They were jointly given the Silver Lion Awards. Russian director, Andrei Konchalovsky, was awarded the Special Jury prize for Dear Comrades!, set in 1962, the film revolves around the massacre of protesters in the USSR.
The annual Festival in Venice is one of what’s known as the “big three” film festivals, accompanied by Cannes and Berlin. The Berlin Film Festival took place from 20th February to 1st March. However, the Cannes Film Festival was scheduled for May but soon postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Last year, Joker won the festival’s top prize. Joker then went on to win two Academy Awards, including the Best Actor Oscar for Joaquin Phoenix’s performance.
Nomadland’s big win at this year’s festival paves the way for even more recognition to be had at the major award ceremonies beginning next year. The 2021 Academy Awards have been pushed back by two months due to the pandemic, to 25th April 2021. The Golden Globe Awards have also been delayed to the Oscars’ original date, 28th February 2021.
See the full list of Award Winners below:
GOLDEN LION for Best Film to:
by Chloé Zhao (USA)
SILVER LION – GRAND JURY PRIZE to:
NUEVO ORDEN (NEW ORDER)
by Michel Franco (Mexico, France)
SILVER LION – AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR to:
for the film SPY NO TSUMA (WIFE OF A SPY) (Japan)
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE to:
DOROGIE TOVARISCHI! (DEAR COMRADES!)
by Andrei Konchalovsky (Russia)
AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY to:
for the film THE DISCIPLE (India)
for Best Actress:
in the film PIECES OF A WOMAN by Kornél Mundruczó (Canada, Hungary)
for Best Actor:
in the film PADRENOSTRO by Claudio Noce (Italy)
MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD
for Best Young Actor or Actress to:
in the film KHORSHID (SUN CHILDREN) by Majid Majidi (Iran)