Top award for Happening in Venice

Abortion drama takes Golden Lion

by Amber Wilkinson

Happening won the Golden Lion
Happening won the Golden Lion Photo: Courtesy of Venice Film Festival
Audrey Diwan’s French abortion drama Happening won the Golden Lion in Venice yesterday.

The film, which is set in the 1960s, follows a woman who wants to end her pregnancy in order to continue her studies.

Accepting the award, Diwan said: "I did this movie with anger, with desire, with my belly, my guts, my heart and my head,"

The jury, headed by Parasite director Boon Jong Ho, gave the Grand Jury Prize to Paolo Sorrentino's autobiographical Hand Of God.

On a good night for female talent in general, Maggie Gyllenhaal picked up the Best Screenplay Award for her debut The Lost Daughter and Jane Campion was named Best Director for her western The Power Of The Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst.

Audrey Diwan receives the Golden Lion for Happening
Audrey Diwan receives the Golden Lion for Happening Photo: La Bienalle De Venezia
In the Orizzonti sidebar, Lithuanian director Laurynas Bareisa won the top prize for Pilgrims, with Eric Gravel named as Best Director for Full Time.

Acting awards went to Penelope Cruz for her role in Pedro Almodovar's Parallel Mothers and John Arcilla for Erik Matti's On The Job 2: The Missing 8.

The full list of award winners is below:

Golden Lion for Best Film

Happening, dir. Audrey Diwan

Grand Jury Prize

The Hand of God, dir. Paolo Sorrentino

Best Director

Jane Campion, for The Power of the Dog

Best Actor

John Arcilla for On The Job: The Missing 8

Best Actress

Penelope Cruz for Parallel Mothers

Best Screenplay

Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter

Best Young Actor

Filippo Scotti for The Hand of God

Special Jury Prize

Il Buco, dir. Michelangelo Frammartino

Lion of the Future for Best Debut Film

Imaculat, dir. Monica Stan, George Chiper-Lillemark

Orizzonti Section Prizes

Best Film

Pilgrims, dir. Laurynas Bareisa

Best Director

Eric Gravel for Full Time

Special Jury Prize

The Great Movement dir. Kiro Russo

Best Actor

Piseth Chhun for White Building

Best Actress

Laure Calamy for Full Time

Best Screenplay

Peter Kerekes, Ivan Ostrochovsky for 107 Mothers

Best Short Film

Los Huesos, dir. Cristobal Leon, Joaquin Cocina

Audience Award

The Blind Man Who Didn’t Want To See The Titanic, dir. Teemu Nikki

Venice VR Expanded

Best VR Story

End of Night, dir. David Adler

Best VR Experience

Le Bal De Paris, dir. Blanca Lee.

Best VR Work

Goliath Playing With Reality, dir. Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla

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