Women rule 2021 Venice Film Festival Awards as French abortion drama ‘Happening’ wins Golden Lion; Penélope Cruz, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jane Campion take top prizes
The French abortion drama Happening from Audrey Diwan has won the Golden Lion at the 78th Venice Film Festival. Diwan is only the 6th woman to win the festival’s top prize after Margarethe von Trotta, Agnès Varda, Mira Nair, Sofia Coppola, and Chloé Zhao. It marks the first time in Venice history that women have won the Golden Lion in back to back years.
Veteran director Jane Campion won the Best Director prize for her meditative cowboy drama The Power of the Dog with Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Campion is only the second woman ever to win the Silver Lion for directing. The first was Shirin Neshat for 2009’s Women Without Men.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, who won the Best Screenplay award for her adaptation of The Lost Daughter (which she also directed) spoke of ‘secret truths’ of women, through tears recalls seeing The Piano in high school, with director Jane Campion present in the Venice audience. Both films are backed by Netflix.
Netflix kept winning with two more awards, both for Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God. Sorrentino won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize for the film and Filippo Scotti won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor.
Here is the complete list of winners of the 78th Venice Film Festival.
Golden Lion for Best Film – Happening by Audrey Diwan
Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize – The Hand of God by Paolo Sorrentino
Silver Lion for Best Director – Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
Volpi Cup for Best Actress – Penélope Cruz for Parallel Mothers
Volpi Cup for Best Actor – John Arcilla for On the Job: The Missing 8
Best Screenplay – Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter
Special Jury Prize – Il Buco (The Hole)
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor – Filippo Scotti for The Hand of God
Best Film – Pilgrims by Laurynas Bareisa
Best Director – Full Time by Eric Gravel
Special Jury Prize – El Gran Movimiento by Kiro Russo
Best Actress – Full Time by Laure Calamy
Best Actor – White Building by Piseth Chhun
Best Screenplay – 107 Mothers by Ivan Ostrochovský and Peter Kerekes
Best Short Film – Los Huesos by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña
LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS AWARD
Best First Feature – Imaculat by Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark
VENICE VR EXPANDED AWARDS
Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Work – Goliath: Playing With Reality by Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla
Best VR Experience – Le Bal de Paris de Blanca Li by Blanca Li
Best VR Story – End of Night by David Adler
Armani Beauty Audience Award – The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic by Teemu Nikki