Joker, Roman Polanski win 2 top prizes at Venice Film Festival
The 2019 Venice International Film Festival has officially ended, and this year’s top award winners were surprisingly Todd Phillips’ Joker and Roman Polanski.
The festival’s big prize, The Golden Lion, was awarded to the upcoming Batman villain prequel film starring Joaquin Phoenix, leading many to wonder what that means for the upcoming awards season as historically films that win The Golden Lion go on to sweep American awards like the Oscars and Golden Globes. Most recently, last year’s winner was Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma which won three Oscars, and the year before that Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water won The Golden Lion and then Best Picture at the Oscars. Joker debuted to rave reviews at Venice earlier.
But perhaps the biggest surprise is that the Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Polanski for An Officer and a Spy. Polanski was not in attendance to accept the award, as expected.
Polanski fled the United States back in 1978 after pleading guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl (a grand jury indicted him in 1977 on six felony charges, including rape, furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, and sodomy). The director spent more than a month in prison before fleeing the country, and he has remained a fugitive ever since. He continues to be a controversial figure as last year, he dismissed the #MeToo movement as “mass hysteria” and “complete hypocrisy.” He was also expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Check out the full list of winners from the Venice International Film Festival below:
Golden Lion: Joker
Grand Jury Prize: An Officer and a Spy, Roman Polanski
Silver Lion for Best Director: Roy Andersson, About Endlessness
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Ariane Ascaride, Gloria Mundi
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Luca Marinelli, Martin Eden
Best Screenplay: No. 7 Cherry Lane
Special Jury Prize: The Mafia Is No Longer What It Used to Be
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Actor: Toby Wallace, Babyteeth
Horizons Competition (Orizzonti)
Best Film: Atlantis
Best Director: Théo Court, White on White
Special Jury Prize: Verdict
Best Actress: Marta Nieto, Madre
Best Actor: Sami Bouajila, A Son
Best Screenplay: Back Home
Best Short Film: Darling
Lion of the Future
Luigi de Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Feature: You Will Die at Twenty, Amjad Abu Alala
Best Restored Film: Ecstasy, Gustav Machatý
Best Documentary on Cinema: Babenco – Alguém Tem Que Ouvir O Coração E Dizer: Parou
Virtual Reality Competition
Best Virtual Reality: Céline Tricart, The Key
Best Virtual Reality Experience: A Linha, Ricardo Laganaro
Best Virtual Reality Story: Daughters of Chibok, Joel Kachi Benson