Venice 2017: 'The Shape of Water' & 'Foxtrot' Win Top Prizes at Venezia

The 74th Venice Film Festival wrapped up this weekend on the Lido, and the awards were handed out. The top prize at Venice is a Golden Lion (in honor of the iconic lion that is the symbol of the city) and it's one of the greatest achievements in cinema, along with the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. This year's big winner is Guillermo del Toro's fantasy love story The Shape of Water, starring Sally Hawkins as a lonely woman who falls in love with a fish creature at a secret lab (read my review). The runner-up prize went to Foxtrot, another brilliant film, this one criticizing modern life in Israel (read my review). I'm very happy about these two, and all of the Venice prizes (more below). An exciting first year at the festival for me.

Main Venice Awards

The Venezia 74 Jury, chaired by Annette Bening, and comprised of Ildikó Enyedi, Michel Franco, Rebecca Hall, Anna Mouglalis, David Stratton, Jasmine Trinca, Edgar Wright and Yonfan having viewed all 21 films in competition, has decided as follows:

Golden Lion for Best Film:
The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro (USA)

Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize:
Foxtrot by Samuel Maoz (Israel, Germany, France, Switzerland)

Silver Lion Award for Best Director:
Xavier Legrand for the film Custody (Jusqu'à la garde)

Coppa Volpi for Best Actress:
Charlotte Rampling in the film Hannah by Andrea Pallaoro (Italy, Belgium, France)

Coppa Volpi for Best Actor:
Kamel El Basha in the film The Insult by Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon, France)

Award for Best Screenplay:
Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Great Britain)

Special Jury Prize:
Sweet Country by Warwick Thornton (Australia)

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress:
Charlie Plummer in the film Lean on Pete by Andrew Haigh (Great Britain)

"Luigi De Laurentiis" Venice Award for a Debut Film:
Custody (Jusqu'à la garde) by Xavier Legrand (France)

Venice Classics Awards

The Venice Classics Jury, chaired by Giuseppe Piccioni composed of 26 students of Cinema History, chosen in particular from the professors of 12 Italian Dams university programmes and from the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, has decided to award:

Venice Classics Award for Best Documentary on Cinema:
The Prince and the Dybbuk by Elwira Niewiera & Piotr Rosołowski

Venice Classics Award for Best Restored Film:
Come and See (Idi i smotri) by Elem Klimov (USSR, 1985)

Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement 2017:
Jane Fonda & Robert Redford

Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award 2017:
Stephen Frears (director of Victoria & Abdul)

That's all for now. For the full list of awards (including VR), head to Congratulations to all of the winners this year. I'm very happy for both The Shape of Water and Foxtrot, as these two films were my favorite films of the festival anyway. And the two wonderful filmmakers who made them, Guillermo del Toro and Samuel Maoz, are both very talented cinematic storytellers. I also heard great things about the French film Custody (Jusqu'à la garde), which won two awards, even though it premiered late in the festival. It's a relief to see winners I completely agree with. For my final blog about the Venice Film Festival experience, click here. This wraps up our coverage of the 2017 Venice Film Festival, but we will be back again next year.

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