Laurent Cantet’s Spanish-language feature wins cash prize.

This year’s Venice Days Award has been won by Laurent Cantet’s Return to Ithaca.

The latest film from 2008 Palme d’Or winning director Cantet centres around a group of friends in Cuba celebrating the return of an exiled friend. The film, handled by Funny Balloons, also plays in Toronto Special Presentations.

The jury, headed by Argentinian filmmaker Diego Lerman, comprised participants of the European Parliament’s 28 Times Cinema programme. 

A statement from the jury said: “With limited conditions of time and space the film-maker succeeds to deliver an emotional and complex take on dealing with the secrets of the past.”

The €20,000 cash prize will be split equally between the filmmaker and the film´s international distributor, which will use the sum received to promote the winning film internationally.