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The first awards of the Venice Film Festival were announced Friday, with several female directors winning top prizes. In the critics’ week section, Natalia Garagiola was honored with the audience award for her film Hunting Season.
Hunting Season tells the story of a hunting guide in Patagonia who must raise his delinquent son after he is expelled from school and has been praised for its intimate portrait of a violent father-son relationship.
Critics’ week, now in its 32nd year, is an independent sidebar which focuses on the work of new directors. This year, five of the seven films represented female directors.
Denmark’s Annika Berg won the Verona Film Club award for Team Hurricane, a post-punk girl drama that has been called a modern-day Run Lola Run. And Bertrand Mandico has been awarded the Hotel Saturnia award for best technical contribution for Les Garcons Sauvages.
“An edition marked by women,” said critics’ week director Giona A. Nazzaro. “An edition that celebrated the many diverse forms of talent and of new cinema. An edition embraced with great esteem and affection by the audience. An edition that revealed seven new filmmakers that will be talked about for years to come. This is the work and the mission of the Venice international film critics’ week.”
In the Venice Days sidebar, Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza was honored with the Director’s Award for his film Candelaria, about an elderly couple struggling to survive in Cuba until they find a video camera, an incident that changes their lives.
Savi Gabizon won the Venice Day’s People’s Choice Award for Longing, about a man who discovers he is a father, 20 years too late.
M by Sara Forestier won the Label Europa Cinemas Award. Anne Fontaine’s Marvin won the Queer Lion Award.
The FIPRESCI Award went to Ex Libris: New York Public Library and their best debut film went to Alireza Khatami for Los Versos del Olvido.
The HRNs Special Prize for Human Rights went to Nancy Buirski for The Rape of Racy Taylor. And the Future Film Festival Digital Award went to The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro.
The Venice 74 main competition and Horizons awards will be announced Saturday at the conclusion of the festival.
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