'Speed,' 'Darjeeling' take early Venice nods


VENICE, Italy -- Ed Radtke's coming-of-age drama "The Speed of Life" won the Venice Film Festival's first Queer Lion award while Wes Anderson's "Darjeeling Limited" took home the Golden Lion Cub, an award selected by school children.

Radtke's film -- about a group of New York youths who steal video cameras and make films from the tapes inside -- screened in the Venice Days sidebar for up-and-coming directors. The story was judged to have featured the most accurate portrayal of a gay character out of the 57 new feature films screening in Venice.

The Venice Gays jury, which awarded the prize, issued a statement calling on the festival to include more films that portray gay characters in a truthful way in future editions.

"Darjeeling Limited," a comedy about a trio of brothers on a trip across India, was awarded its Golden Lion Cub by a jury of local youths studying at the Agiscuola, near Venice's Lido. In 18 previous editions, the school children have correctly picked the winner of the festival's top prize -- Golden Lion -- seven times.

In other prizes announced Friday, the City of Venice Award for a director from an underdeveloped country went to India's Murali Nair, the director of last year's acclaimed drama "Unni."

"Redacted," the Iraq War film from Brian DePalma, won the Digital Award from the Future Film Festival, as the Venice event's best film made using digital technologies.

The main prize-winners will be announced Saturday.