Claire Burger's 'Real Love' Wins Top Venice Days Prize

Courtesy of Venice International Film Festival
'Real Love'

Austrian film 'Joy' wins the Europa Cinema Label prize.

French director Claire Burger won the top prize, the director's award, from the Venice Film Festival's Venice Days section for Real Love, about the struggle of a single father raising two girls. The lineup this year featured six films directed by women, out of 12 movies in the section.

Italian director Jonas Carpignano (A Ciambra) chaired the jury, composed of 28 young cinema fans from across the European Union accompanied by Karlovy Vary festival director Karel Och. 

In a statement the jury said: "The film by Claire Burger is an extremely compelling story about the difficult situations in which life can put us in, whether it's a marriage ending or our heart being broken for the first time. We chose this film for its tenderness and extraordinary technical mastery that the director shows across all elements of the film."  

The prize comes with $23,000 (20,000 Euros), with half going to the director and half going to international distributor Indie Sales Company to help with international promotion of the film. 

Austrian film Joy, about a Nigerian refugee caught in a vicious cycle of sex trafficking, was also announced as the winner of the Europa Cinema Label prize in Venice. The film from Sudabeh Mortezai will benefit from promotional support from Europa Cinemas and a financial incentive to showcase the film across EU complexes. 

"Joy is a moving film made with great care, which addresses sexual trafficking, a scourge that affects all of Europe," said the jury in a statement. "The film has a documentary style that makes it shine in authenticity and credibility."

Mortezai also won the Venice Days inaugural Hearst Film Award for best female filmmaker, which includes a $11,500 (10,000 Euros) prize.