Del Toro secures Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival

Guillermo del Toro

VENICE- Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water wins the Golden Lion for best film, while Italian directors and actors fail to feature in the Venice Film Festival awards. The Mexican film writer dedicated his victory in a tearful speech to the man who inspired him the most, the iconic and legendary Italian film writer Sergio Leone.

Del Toro’s ‘dark’ tale is produced by the American 20th Century Fox. The Golden Lion had not been won by an American studio since 2010. This victory brings back one of the most prestigious and iconic cinematographic awards back to the United States.

The other contender for the Golden Lion, Martin MacDonagh’s Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, was instead awarded with the Golden Osella for the best screenplay.

The Silver Lion was awarded to Israeli writer Samuel Maoz and his drama, set in the writer’s homeland of Israel in our age, Foxtrot.

The jury, presided by the actress Annette Bening, (and comprising of Jasmine Trinca, Ildikó Enyedi, Michel Franco, Rebecca Hall, Anna Mouglalis, David Stratton, Edgar Wright, Yonfan) awarded the 18-year-old American Charlie Plummer, who starred in Lean on Pete, with the Marcello Mastroianni prize for best emerging actor or actress.

Kamel El Bash’s acting in The Insult secured him the Volpi Cup for best male interpreter, while the Volpi Cup for best female interpreter was won by the American Charlotte Rampling starring in the Italian Hannah.

The 74th edition of the Venice Film Festival saw the victory of the Luigi De Laurentis Prize, awarded for first-time writers, to Xavier Legrande's Jusqu’à la grade, who also secured this year’s Silver Lion.

Finally, the jury’s special prize will adorn the showcase of Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country. This Western set in Thornton’s country, Australia, is the true story of an aboriginal man, unjustly accused of the assassination of a white coloniser in the 1920s. The film, heavily influenced by Sergio Leone’s work, has been described as an iconic example of a ‘modern’ Western movie by critics.