Hitman Drama ‘Salvo’ Wins Critics’ Week Prize at Cannes

Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza film is chosen tops in a field of seven features from first- and second-time directors

“Salvo” has won the top prize in Cannes’ International Critics’ Week sidebar, a selection of seven films from first- and second-time directors.

The story of a hitman for the Sicilian Mafia whose life changes after he spares the life of the blind sister of one of his victims, “Salvo” was directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza, and is an Italian and French co-production. In addition to the main award, the Nespresso Grand Prize, it also won the France 4 Visionary Award, a second honor given to one of the Critics’ Week features.

The Grand Prize carries a 10,000-Euro prize, and the France 4 Visionary Award an additional 4,000 Euro.

Daria Belova’s “Come and Play” (“Komm und spiel”) won the Critics' Week Discovery Award for short film from a field of 10 that included one American film, David Lassiter’s “The Opportunist.” Sponsor CCAS will give Belova 8,000 Euro to write a debut feature. Ninja Thyberg’s “Pleasure” took the Canal+ Award for a short, which includes a deal for European distribution.

The Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Award, the 4,000-Euro SACD Prize, went to the screenplay for Sebastien Pilote’s “Le Demantlement.”

Special out-of-competition screenings from Critics' Week included David Lowery's "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" and the Peter Greenaway/Jean-Luc Godard/Edgar Pera collaboration "3x3D."

International Critics' Week is the oldest competitive sidebar at the festival, with its past discoveries including Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noe and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

The main Cannes awards, including the Palme d'Or, will be announced on Sunday.