As the Venice Film Festival 2017 wrapped up, Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s movie “The Shape of Water” emerged as the biggest winner. The movie, a romantic fantasy tale of uncanny attraction between a mute cleaner and a mysterious aquatic creature took home the best prize of the event: The Golden Lion for best film in competition.
The movie won over a jury headed by American actress Annette Bening and unlike previous times, the movie was a confirmed winner among the jury as well as the critics.
Accepting his award at the function, del Toro was moved with the adulation and support. He said, “I believe in life, I believe in love and I believe in cinema.”
The festival’s second most prestigious honor, the Grand Jury Prize, went to Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz for “Foxtrot”. The movie is his first feature since taking home the Golden Lion for 2009’s autobiographical war drama “Lebanon.” His work is presently one of five films shortlisted to be Israel’s official Academy Awards submission.
Best Director award went to Frenchman Xavier Legrand for his first feature “Custody,” a tough-minded examination of a couple’s divorce and its effect on their children. From a separate jury, he also got the Lion of the Future award for best debut feature across the festival’s multiple sections.
Kamel El Basha won Best Actor for “The Insult,” while Charlotte Rampling won Best Actress for Italian director Andrea Pallaoro’s oblique character study “Hannah.”
Also, the Venice Film Festival became the first major film festival to give separate awards for virtual reality filmmaking, with John Landis presiding over the inaugural VR jury.
The entire list of winners this year:
Golden Lion: “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro
Grand Jury Prize: “Foxtrot,” Samuel Maoz
Silver Lion for Best Director: Xavier Legrand, “Custody”
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Charlotte Rampling, “Hannah”
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Kamel El Basha, “The Insult”
Best Screenplay: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh
Special Jury Prize: “Sweet Country,” Warwick Thornton
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer: Charlie Plummer, “Lean on Pete”
Best Film: “Nico, 1988,” Susanna Nicchiarelli
Best Director: Vahid Jalilvand, “No Date, No Signature”
Special Jury Prize: “Caniba,” Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Best Actress: Lyna Khoudri, “Les bienheureux”
Best Actor: Navid Mohammadzadeh, “No Date, No Signature”
Best Screenplay: “Oblivion Verses,” Dominique Wellinski and Rene Ballesteros
Best Short Film: “Gros chagrin,” Céline Devaux
LION OF THE FUTURE
Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film: “Custody,” Xavier Legrand
Best Documentary on Cinema: “The Prince and the Dybbuk,” Elvira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski
Best Restored Film: “Come and See”
VIRTUAL REALITY COMPETITION
Best Virtual Reality: “Arden’s Wake (Expanded),” Eugene Y.K. Chung
Best Virtual Reality Experience: “La Camera Isabbiata,” Laurie Anderson and Hsin-chien Huang
Best Virtual Reality Story: “Bloodless,” Gina Kim