Venice Film Festival: Abortion Drama ‘Happening’ Wins Golden Lion (Complete Winners List)

“Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho led the jury that selected winners at the 78th La Biennale

diwan_levenement Happening Venice
Courtesy of Venice Film Festival

The Venice Film Festival unveiled its award winners on Saturday night, and Jane Campion, Penélope Cruz and Maggie Gyllenhaal are among the the top honorees.

“Happening,” a French abortion drama from director Audrey Diwan, won the Golden Lion, and Paolo Sorrentino’s film “The Hand of God” won the second place prize known as the Silver Lion.

In the acting categories, Cruz won Best Actress for Pedro Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers,” and John Arcilla won Best Actor for “On the Job: The Missing 8.” Campion won the Silver Lion for Best Director for her film “The Power of the Dog.”

Among some of the other winners, Gyllenhaal won Best Screenplay for her adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel “The Lost Daughter.” She praised Campion and spoke about how watching “The Piano” inspired her as a storyteller. “The Hand of God” star Filippo Scotti also won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for the Best New Young Actor or Actress.

A jury led by “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho and that also included Cynthia Erivo and Chloé Zhao selected the winners on Saturday night in Venice, and stars such as Cruz, Campion and Gyllenhaal were all in attendance. Serena Rossi hosted the awards ceremony.

This year’s festival had no clear frontrunner, with acclaim being heaped on competition titles such as “The Hand of God,” “Spencer,” “The Power of the Dog,” “Official Competition” and “The Lost Daughter,” while films like “Dune” and “Halloween Kills” screened out of competition.

Once known as a festival for its art house cinema, La Biennale has gravitated in recent years toward more blockbusters in its lineup as well as traditional awards contenders. The last four years at the Venice Film Festival, the winners have been “Nomadland,” “Joker,” “Roma” and “The Shape of Water,” all of which were nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards, with both “Nomadland” and “Shape of Water” eventually winning. Before that, only one Venice winner in 35 years, “Brokeback Mountain,” was even nominated for Best Picture.

The festival kicked off on Sept. 1. Check out the full list of winners below:


Golden Lion for Best Film: “Happening,” Audrey Diwan
Silver Lion (Grand Jury Prize): “The Hand of God,” Paolo Sorrentino
Silver Lion for Best Director: Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”
Coppa Volpi for Best Actor: John Arcilla, “On the Job: The Missing 8”
Coppa Volpi for Best Actress: Penelopé Cruz, “Parallel Mothers”
Award for Best Screenplay: “The Lost Daughter,” Maggie Gyllenhaal
Special Jury Prize: “Il Buco,” Michelangelo Frammartino
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress: Filippo Scotti, “The Hand of God”

Orizzonti Award for Best Film: “Pilgrims,” Laurynas Bareisa
Orizzonti Award for Best Director: Eric Gravel, “A plein temps”
Special Orizzonti Jury Prize: “El Gran Movimento,” Kiro Russo
Orizzonti Award for Best Actor: Piseth Chhun, “White Building”
Orizzonti Award for Best Actress: Laure Calamy, “A plein temps”
Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay: “107 Mothers,” Peter Kerekes, Ivan Ostrochovsky
Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film: “Los Huesos,” Cristobal Leon, Joaquin Cocina

Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film: “Imaculat,” Monica Stan, George Chiper-Lillemark

Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Work: “Goliath: Playing With Reality,” Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla
Best VR Experience for Interactive Content: “Le bal de Paris de Blanca Li,” Blanca Li
Best VR Story: “End of Night,” David Adler

Orizzonti Extra Armani Beauty Audience Award: “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic,” Teemu Nikki


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