Lebanon, directed by Samuel Maoz and set largely inside a tank stranded inside enemy territory on the first day of the Lebanon War in June 1982, has won the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion for Best Film.
Maoz, who based the film on his own experiences, dedicated the award to “people all over the word who come back form the war safe and sound, they work, get married, have children but inside remain stuck in their souls.”
The Coppa Volpi for Best Actor went to Colin Firth for his performance of a gay college professor in fashion designer Tom Ford’s well-received directorial debut The Single Man. Firth spoke in Italian while accepting the award, saying it was “possibly the greatest honor of my life”.
Russian born actress Ksenia Rappoport for her role in Giuseppe Capotondi’s first work The Double Hour produced by Indigo Film with Medusa.
The Silver Lion for Best Director has been awarded to Iranian born, New York residing director Shirin Neshat for Women Without Men (Zanan-e-bedun-e mardan) a film dealing with the condition of women in Iran and the 1953 coup which toppled the democratically elected Mossadegh government.
Fatih Akin won the Special Jury Prize for his Hamburg-set food and soul music comedy Soul Kitchen.
Todd Solondz was awarded the Osella For Best Screenplay Life During War Time.” This is so much fun – to win a prize it makes you like an eleven year old again nothing’s – I confess nothing’s better,” he said from the stage.
Osella for Best Technical Contribution was given to Sylvie Olive, production designer for Jaco Van Dormael’s Mr. Nobody.
Director Haile Gerima presented the $100,000 Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the future award to the Orizzonti title Clash (Engkwentro) by Filipino director Pepe Diokno about two teenage brothers on the opposite side of a gang war.
Jasmine Trinca was honored with the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young actor or actress for her role in Michele Placido’s Il Grande Sogno.
The winner of the new competitive section Controcampo Italiano was Susanna Nicchiarelli with her film Cosmonauta produced by Fandango with Rai Cinema. The prize carries euros 40,000 in Kodak film stock to shoot her next feature.
A special mention was given to Negli Occhi by Daniele Anzellotti and Francesco Del Grosso.