nomadland new

Source: Searchlight Pictures


Chloé Zhao’s US drama Nomadland starring Frances McDormand has won the Golden Lion for best film at the 2020 Venice Film Festival, which held its awards in a socially-distanced ceremony on Saturday evening (September 12).

The Silver Lion – Grand Jury prize went to Michel Franco’s Mexican-French feature New Order, about a high society wedding which is interrupted by protesters. Franco was present in Venice to accept the award, which was presented in front of a half-full Sala Grande, as part of the measures in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.

2011 Screen Star of Tomorrow Vanessa Kirby received the best actress prize for her widely admired performance as a grieving mother in Kornél Mundruczó’s Hungarian drama Pieces Of A Woman which Netflix has just acquired for the world; while best actor Pierfrancesco Favino was one of two Italian winners, for his role in Claudio Noce’s Padrenostro (Pietro Castellitto won best screenplay in the Horizons awards for I Predatori).

Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa received the best director award for Wife Of A Spy; with best screenplay also going to a South Asian film: Indian title The Disciple, written by Chaitanya Tamhane.

Andrei Konchalovsky’s Dear Comrades! picked up the special jury prize in Competition; with the Marcello Mastroianni award for best young actor or actress going to Rouhollah Zamani for his performance in Majid Majidi’s Iranian film Sun Children.

 Scroll down for the full list of winners

The Golden Lion was accepted via a video message from Nomadland’s  writer-director Zhao and McDormand, both sat by a van, reflecting the nomadic American West setting of the film.

Nomadland debuted on Friday September 11  to strong reviews, and screened as a drive-in presentation in Toronto and Los Angeles (with Zhao and McDormand in attendance at the latter) and will play at San Sebastian. Its win here sets it up well for an awards season push through Searchlight Pictures.

The Competition awards were chosen by a jury chaired by Cate Blanchett, and comprised of Matt Dillon, Veronika Franz, Joanna Hogg, Nicola Lagioia, Christian Petzold, and Ludivine Sagnier.

Portuguese actress and filmmaker Ana Rocha de Sousa was another big winner on the night, with her feature directorial debut Listen, a UK-Portuguese co-production, receiving the Horizons Special Jury prize and the Luigi De Laurentis Lion of the Future award, the latter with a $100,000 prize.

Ann Hui and Tilda Swinton were previously announced as recipients of the honorary Golden Lion lifetime achievement awards; with Abel Ferrara receiving the Glory To The Filmmaker prize.

Venice 2020 winners


Golden Lion: Nomadland (US) dir. Chloé Zhao

Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize: New Order (Mex-Fr) dir. Michel Franco

Silver Lion – best director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Wife Of A Spy

Special Jury Prize: Dear Comrades! (Rus) dir. Andrei Konchalovsky

Best screenplay: Chaitanya Tamhane, The Disciple

Best actress: Vanessa Kirby, Pieces Of A Woman

Best actor: Pierfrancesco Favino, Padrenostro

Marcello Mastroianni award for best young actor or actress: Rouhollah Zamani, Sun Children

Horizons awards

Best film: The Wasteland (Iran) dir. Ahmad Bahrami

Best director: Lav Diaz, Genus Pan

Special jury prize: Listen (UK-Por) dir. Ana Rocha de Sousa

Best screenplay: Pietro Castellitto, I Predatori

Best actress: Khansa Batma, Zanka Contact

Best actor: Yahya Mahayni, The Man Who Sold His Skin

Best short film: Entre Tú Y Milagros (Col-US) dir. Mariana Saffon

Venice Short film nomination for the European Film Awards 2020: The Shift (UK-Por) dir. Laura Carreira

Lion of the Future ‘Luigi De Laurentis’ award for debut film: Listen (UK-Por) dir. Ana Rocha de Sousa.