‘Nomadland’ Wins Golden Lion Award at Venice Film Festival

Acting awards went to Vanessa Kirby and Pierfrancesco Favino at the scaled-down festival

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

“Nomadland” has received the Golden Lion Award as the best film of the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, a jury headed by Cate Blanchett announced on Saturday.

The Searchlight drama, a simultaneous premiere by the Venice, Telluride and Toronto festivals, was directed by Chloe Zhao and stars Frances McDormand as a woman who travels through the American West in a van after losing her job and her home. Apart from McDormand and David Strathairn, almost all of the actors in the film are actual “nomads” that Zhao cast on her own travels through the area.

“Nuevo Orden” (“New Order”) by Mexican director Michel Franco won the Silver Lion, the festival’s second-place award, while acting prizes went to Vanessa Kirby for “Pieces of a Woman” and Pierfrancesco Favino for “Padrenostro.”

Kiyoshi Kurosawa was named the festival’s best director for “Wife of a Spy.”

Ahmad Bahrami’s “The Wasteland” won the award as the best film in the festival’s Orizzonti section, while Ana Rocha de Sousa’s “Listen” won the Orizzonti jury prize and the award as the best first film at the festival.

In the more than 70 years the Venice Film Festival has been in existence, the winner of its top award has only gone on to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture six times — but three of those took place in the last three years, with “The Shape of Water,” “Roma” and “Joker.” Only two films, “The Shape of Water” and Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film version of “Hamlet,” have won the Golden Lion and the Best Picture Oscar.

This year’s Venice Film Festival was scaled down over previous years, with socially-distanced screenings and smaller attendance from outside Europe. Venice was the first major festival to attempt a physical event, after festivals including South by Southwest, Tribeca, Cannes and Karlovy Vary canceled or went completely virtual.

In addition to Blanchett, the competition jury consisted of actors Matt Dillon and Ludivine Sagnier, writer-directors Veronika Franz, Joanna Hogg and Christian Petzold and writer Nicola Lagioia.

Additional prizes were presented by other juries headed by director Claire Denis, writer-director-musician Claudio Giovannesi and VR storyteller Celine Tricart.

In collateral Venice awards also announced on Saturday, winners included “Pieces of a Woman,” “Notturno,” “The Disciple,” “Nomadland” and “City Hall.”

Here is the full list of jury winners and collateral winners:


Golden Lion for Best Film: “Nomadland,” Chloe Zhao
Silver Lion (Grand Jury Prize): “Nuevo Orden” (“New Order”), Michel Franco
Silver Lion for Best Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, “Wife of a Spy”
Coppa Volpi for Best Actor: Pierfrancesco Favino, “Padrenostro”
Coppa Volpi for Best Actress: Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Award for Best Screenplay: Chaitanya Tamhane, “The Disciple”
Special Jury Prize: “Dear Comrades,” Andrei Konchalovsky
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress: Rouhallah Zamani, “Sun Children”

Orizzonti Award for Best Film: “The Wasteland,” Ahmad Bahrami
Orizzonti Award for Best Director: Lav Diaz, “Genus Pan”
Special Orizzonti Jury Prize: “Listen,” Ana Rocha de Sousa
Orizzonti Award for Best Actor: Yahya Mahayni, “The Man Who Sold His Skin”
Orizzonti Award for Best Actress: Khansa Batma, “Zanka Contact”
Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay: “Pietro Castellitto, “I Predatori”
Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film: “Entre tu y Milagros,” Mariana Saffon

Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film: “Listen,” Ana Rocha de Sousa

Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Immersive Work: “The Hangman at Home: An Immersive Single User Experience,” Michelle & Uri Kranot
Best VR Immersive User Experience: “Finding Pandora X,” Kiira Benzing
Best VR Immersive Story: “Sha Si Da Ming Xing” (“Killing a Superstar”), Fan Fan


ARCA CinemaGiovani Award
Best Film of Venezia 77: “Pieces of a Woman” by Kornél Mundruczó
Best Italian Film in Venice: “Notturno” by Gianfranco Rosi

Brian Award: “Quo Vadis, Aida?” by Jasmila Žbanić

Casa Wabi – Mantarraya Award: “Listen,” Ana Rocha de Sousa

Edipo Re Award: “The Man Who Sold His Skin” by Kaouther Ben Hania

Premio Fondazione Fai Persona Lavoro Ambiente: “Dashte Khamoush” (“The Wasteland”) by Ahmad Bahrami
Special Mention (treatment of issues related to environment): “Śniegu Juz Nigdy Nie Bedzie” (“Never Gonna Snow Again”) by Małgorzata Szumowska, codirected: Michał Englert ex aequo with “Kitoboy” (“The Whaler Boy”) by Philipp Yuryev
Special Mention (treatment of issues related to work): “Dorogie Tovarischi!” (“Dear Comrades!”) by Andrei Konchalovsky

Fanheart3 Award
Graffetta d’Oro for Best Film: “Saint-Narcisse” by Bruce LaBruce
Nave d’Argento for Best OTP: “The World to Come” by Mona Fastvold
VR Fan Experience: “Baba Yaga” by Eric Darnell, Mathias Chelebourg
VR Special Mention: “The Metamovie Presents: Alien Rescue” by Jason Moore

Best Film: “Miss Marx” by Susanna Nicchiarelli
Special Mention FEDIC: “Assandira” by Salvatore Mereu
Special Mention FEDIC for Best Short Film: “Finis Terrae” by Tommaso Frangini

FIPRESCI Award: “The Disciple” by Chaitanya Tamhane
Best Film from Orizzonti and parallel sections: “Dashte Khamoush (“The Wasteland”) by Ahmad Bahrami

Francesco Pasinetti Award
Best Film: “Le Sorelle Macaluso” by Emma Dante
Best Actor: Alessandro Gassman for the film “Non odiare” by Mauro Mancini
Best Actress: the cast of “Le Sorelle Macaluso”

GdA Director’s Award: “Kitoboy” by Philipp Yuryev

Europa Cinemas Label Award: “Oaza” (“Oasis”) by Ivan Ikić

BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas People’s Choice Award: “200 Meters” by Ameen Nayfeh

HFPA Award
To the filmmakers (directors, producers) from the Orizzonti section awarded for Best Film, Best Director and Special Jury Prize.

Lanterna Magica Award: “Khorshid” (“Sun Children”) by Majid Majidi

Leoncino d’Oro Award: “Nuevo Orden” by Michel Franco
Cinema for UNICEF: “Notturno” by Gianfranco Rosi

Lizzani Award: “Le Sorelle Macaluso” by Emma Dante

Nuovoimaie Talent Award
Best New Young Actor: Luka Zunic
Best New Young Actress: Eleonora de Luca

La Pellicola d’Oro Award
Best Production Manager: Cristian Peritore for the film “Le sorelle Macaluso” by Emma Dante
Best Head of camera and electrical department: Raffaele Alletto for the film “Padrenostro” by Claudio Noce
Best Dressmaker: Paola Seghetti for the film “Miss Marx” by Susanna Nicchiarelli

Queer Lion Award: “The World to Come” by Mona Fastvold

RB Casting Award: Linda Caridi for the film “Lacci” by Daniele Luchetti

Grand Prize Venice International Film Critic’s Week: “Hayaletler” (“Ghosts”) by Azra Deniz Okyay

Verona Film Club Award: “Pohani Dorogy” (“Bad Roads”) by Natalya Vorozhbit

Mario Serandrei: “Topside” by Celine Held and Logan George

Award for Best Short Film SIC@SIC 2020: “J’Ador” by Simone Bozzelli
Award for Best Director SIC@SIC 2020: “Le Mosche” by Edgardo Pistone
Award for Best Technical Contribution SIC@SIC 2020: “Gas Station” by Olga Torrico

SIGNIS Award: “Quo Vadis, Aida?” by Jasmila Žbanić
Special Mention: “Nomadland” by Chloé Zhao

“Sorriso diverso” Award
Best Italian Film: “No Odiare” by Mauro Mancini ex aequo with “Notturno” by Gianfranco Rosi
Best Foreign Film: “Listen” by Ana Rocha De Sousa ex aequo with “Selva Tragica” by Yulene Olaizola
Il viaggio turismo Enit: “Padrenostro” by Claudio Noce

Premio Soundtrack Stars Award
Best Soundtrack: “Miss Marx” by Susanna Nicchiarelli; music by Gatto Ciliegia contro il Grande Freddo
Lifetime Achievement Award: Giorgio Moroder
musica&cinema Special Price: Diodato

Premio UNIMED: “Quo Vadis, Aida?” by Jasmila Žbanić

Premio Fair Play al Cinema – Vivere da Sportivi: “Nomadland” by Chloé Zhao
Special Mention: “City Hall” by Frederick Wiseman


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