Venice: Venezuelan Drama 'From Afar' Wins Golden Lion

Courtesy of Venice International Film Festival
'From Afar'

Charlie Kaufman's animated film 'Anomalisa' won the Grand Jury Prize.

From Afar by Lorenzo Vigas won the Golden Lion top prize of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival on Saturday. The film is the first Venezuelan film in the festival, and is the first feature by Vigas. The graphic psychological drama explores the relationship between a middle-age gay man who cruises the streets of Caracas and a young street kid.

"Wow. This is a bit of a surprise that will be very well received in a country where we’ve had some problems in the last years and I hope this will help," said Vigas upon accepting the prize, noting that the production in Caracas was quite difficult to accomplish. "I want to dedicate this prize to my amazing country, Venezuela. We've been having some problems, but we're very positive. We're an amazing nation and we're going to start talking to each other more."

The top two prizes hailed from Latin America. Silver Lion for best director went to Pablo Trapero for his Argentine kidnapping thriller The Clan. The stop motion animated wonder Anomalisa by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson took home the grand jury prize. 

Newcomer Abraham Attah won best new actor for Beasts of No Nation, thanking his director Cary Fukunaga and Netflix in his speech. Valeria Golina won the competition prize for best actress and Fabrice Luchini for best actor. 

Jury President Alfonso Cuaron announced the awards at the Sala Grande at the closing ceremony Saturday night.

The festival's 21 films in competition tackled a variety of contemporary political topics from transgender issues in The Danish Girl to child soliders in Beasts of No Nation. Several films dealt with personal issues such as loss in The Wait and Heart of a Dog. Given the success of recent Venice films during Oscar season, as evidenced by Gravity and Birdman, more studios are seeing Venice as an awards launchpad. 

The crowd in Venice became emotional when Pier Paolo Pasolini's controversial last film Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom was announced as best restored film. Brady Corbet flew in last minute from upstate New York for the best debut film award for The Childhood of a Leader

Among the auxiliary prizes, The Danish Girl took home the Queer Lion award, for bringing the life of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe to the big screen. Anomalisa won the Future Film Festival Digital Award. And Early Winter by Michael Rowe took home the Venice Days award.

The full list of awards is as follows: 


Golden Lion for Best Film: From Afar by Lorenzo Vigas

Silver Lion for Best DIrector: Pablo Trapero for El Clan

Grand Jury Prize: Anomalisa by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnnson

Coppa Volpi for Best Actor: Fabrice Luchini for Courted

Coppa Volpi for Best Actress: Valeria Golina for Per amor vostro

"Marcello Mastroianni" Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress: Abraham Attah for Beasts of No Nation

Award for Best Screenplay: Christian Vincent for Courted 

Special Jury Prize: Frenzy by Emin Alper


Best Film: Free in Deed by Jake Mahaffy

Best Director: Brady Corbet for Childhood of a Leader

Special Jury Prize: Neon Bull by Gabriel Mascaro

Best Short Film: Belladonna by Dubravka Turic

Best Actor of Actress: Dominique Leborne by in Tempete

Venice Short Film Nomination for the European Film Awards 2014:



"Luigi de Laurentiis" Venice Award for a Debut Film: The Childhood of a Leader by Brady Corbet



Best Restored Film: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom by Pier Paolo Passolini

Best Documentary: The 1000 Eyes of Dr Maddin by Yves Montmayeur


FIPRESCI Award: Blood of My Blood by Marco Bellocchio

Queer Lion Award

The Danish Girl by Tom Hooper


Special Mention to Baby Bump by Kuba Czekaj

SIGNIS Award: 

Behemoth by Liang Zhao

Special Mention to The Wait by Piero Messina

Leoncino d'Oro Agiscuola  per il Cinema Award: The Wait by Piero Messina

Francesco Pasinetti Award

Non essere cattivo by Claudio Caligari

Best actor award to Luca Marinelli for Non essere cattivo by Claudio Caligari

Best actress award to Valeria Golino for Per amor vostro by Giuseppe M. Gaudino

Special award to La prima luce by Vincenzo Marra

Brian Award: Spotlight by Thomas McCarthy

Arca CinemaGiovani Award

Best film of Venezia 72: Abluka (Frenzy) by Emin Alper

Best Italian film to Pecore in erba by Alberto Caviglia


to Non essere cattivo by Claudio Caligari

Special Mention “Fedic – Il Giornale del Cibo” to The Wait by Piero Messina

Fondazione Mimmo Rotella Award

to Alexander Sokurov for Francofonia

Special Award to Johnny Depp and to director Terry Gilliam

Future Film Festival Digital Award: Anomalisa by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson

P. Nazareno Taddei Award: Marguerite by Xavier Giannoli

Lanterna Magica (CGS) Award: Blanka by Kohki Hasei

Lina Mangiacapre Award: Laurie Anderson for Heart of a Dog

Mouse d'Oro Award

Mouse d’oro for the best film of Venezia 72: Rabin, the last day by Amos Gitai

Mouse d’argento for the best Out of Competition film to Spotlight by Tom McCarthy

Human Rights Nights Award: Rabin, the last day by Amos Gitai

“Sorriso diverso Venezia 2015” Award

Best Italian film to Non essere cattivo by Claudio Caligari

Best film in a foreign language to Blanka by Kohki Hasei

CITC – UNESCO 2015 Award: Beasts of No Nationby Cary Fukunaga



Audience Award: Tanna by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler



Venice Days Award: Early Winter by Michael Rowe

BNL People's Choice Award: As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid

Europa Cinemas Label Best European Film: As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid  


Best Film: Lolo by Julie Delpy (France)

Best Italian Discovery: Arianna by Carlo Lavagna