The 78th Venice Film Festival has nearly come to an end. It’s been a long, stressful but exciting year for the festival: 21 films in just ten days, some big world premieres (in and out of competition), a general atmosphere of love for film after one of cinema’s darkest times. It feels like we’re going back to normal, or entering a new normal, and we’re all glad about it, despite quite a few ticketing issues that sparked controversy at the Lido.
Now the question everyone is asking is obviously: what is going to win the coveted Golden Lion? It’s honestly hard to figure it out. It can sound like a cliché, but I truly mean it. So many important auteurs brought their films to the Lido, from Pedro Almodovar to Jane Campion, Paolo Sorrentino, Pablo Larraín, Paul Schrader. Young directors impressed press and public with their works, and Eastern Europe proved once again why their cinema is still so relevant. The jury led by Korean master filmmaker Bong Joon-ho is another reason why it’s not easy to predict the awards for this festival: it’s a jury composed of many different sensibilities.
The awards for the Golden Lion, Silver Lion, Volpi Cups and more will be announced on Saturday, September 11. Let’s play this tough predicting game and see how close we get.
Marcello Mastroianni Award: Filippo Scotti – The Hand of God
As the lead of one of the most anticipated films at the festival, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God, Filippo Scotti impressed his audience, and gave Italian cinema a fresh and talented new face.
Best Screenplay: Official Competition
This cheeky satirical exploration of the film world has surely found its fans inside the jury.
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Yuriy Borisov – Captain Volkonogov Escaped
As a tormented state executioner in Soviet Russia, Yuriy Borisov completes his banner year and leads the race for the male Volpi Cup. Watch out for the long overdue Toni Servillo in Mario Martone’s The King of Laughter as the main alternative.
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Anamaria Vartolomei – Happening
Vartolomei got raves for her performance as a young college student determined to get an abortion, and she’s now the most likely recipient of the female Volpi Cup, in a hot race that includes Penelope Cruz for Madres Paralelas, Kristen Stewart for Spencer and Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter.
Silver Lion for Best Director: Michelangelo Frammartino – The Hole
It’s very unlikely that Frammartino’s terrific filmmaking endeavor has gone unnoticed by the jury. With Il Buco filmed with actual speleologists in the abyssal titular cave, Frammartino has positioned himself as the frontrunner for the Silver Lion for Best Director.
Special Jury Prize: Reflection
Valentyn Vasyanovych’s harrowing and brutal film about a man who has to deal with the trauma of war and torture during the Russo-Ukranian war has very likely left a mark.
Grand Jury Prize: The Power of The Dog
Jane Campion’s magnificent, brooding, moody and impeccably made story toxic masculinity in 1920s Montana is so rich and cinematic that it’s unlikely that it will be passed over by this jury.
Golden Lion: On The Job 2: The Missing 8
This sprawling crime epic about corruption and its political and social ramifications in the Philippines has stunned the Lido at the very last minute, and the layered, complex portrayal of a country in chaos might have won the hearts of this year’s socially aware jury. Could a major award be on its way for director Erik Matti?