Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, has won the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.
The win makes Zhao the first female filmmaker to take Venice’s top prize since Sofia Coppola triumphed with Somewhere in 2010, and the first woman of color to win since Mira Nair in 2001. This year featured eight female directors in competition (a record) and comprised nearly half the lineup, under jury presiden Cate Blanchett.
Last year’s Golden Lion went to Todd Phillips’ Joker, under jury president Lucrecia Martel. That film went on to earn a billion dollars worldwide, 11 Oscar nominations and wins for lead actor Joaquin Phoenix and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir.
The runner-up Grand Jury Prize went to Michel Franco for his dystopian social thriller New Order, and Japanese helmer Kiyoshi Kurosawa was named Best Director for Wife of a Spy, a wartime espionage drama.
Vanessa Kirby, who was Emmy-nominated for The Crown, was one of the big breakouts of the festival in Kornél Mundruczó’s Pieces of a Woman, portraying a woman coming to terms with a recent stillbirth with husband Shia LaBeouf. In her speech she thanked the teams behind both films, dedicating her award to “all the mothers who have lost children and haven’t had their stories told,” and thanking her co-star Shia LaBeouf, for being “the greatest ally, friend and creative dance partner I could ever hope for.” Pieces of a Woman was scooped up by Netflix in a worldwide deal, adding yet another Best Actress contender to their already stacked slate. Earlier this week they picked up Halle Berry’s directorial debut, the work in progress Bruised, out of Toronto.
Here is the the complete list of winners:
Golden Lion: Nomadland, Chloé Zhao
Grand Jury Prize: New Order, Michel Franco
Silver Lion for Best Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Wife of a Spy
Best Actress: Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Best Actor: Pierfrancesco Favino, Padrenostro
Best Screenplay: The Disciple, Chaitanya Tamhane
Special Jury Prize: Dear Comrades, Andrei Konchalovsky
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Rouhollah Zamani, Sun Children
Best Film: The Wasteland, Ahmad Bahrami
Best Director: Genus Pan, Lav Diaz
Special Jury Prize: Listen, Ana Rocha de Sousa
Best Actress: Khansa Batma, Zanka Contact
Best Actor: Yahya Mahayni, The Man Who Sold His Skin
Best Screenplay: I Predatori, Pietro Castellitto
Best Short Film: Entre tú y milagros, Mariana Safron
LION OF THE FUTURE
Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film: “Listen,” Ana Rocha de Sousa
VIRTUAL REALITY COMPETITION
Best VR: “The Hangman at Home: An Immersive Single User Experience,”Michelle and Uri Kranot
Best VR Experience: “Finding Pandora X,” Kiira Benzing
Best VR Story: “Killing a Superstar,” Fan Fan