The War Show by Andreas Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon which captures the fate of Syria through the intimate lens of a small circle of friends, is awarded the 2016 Venice Days Award at Venice Days.
The award carries a cash prize of €20,000, to be equally divided between the director and the international distributor of the film; the latter is urged to use the sum received to promote the winning film.
In March 2011, radio host Obaidah Zytoon and friends join the street protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Knowing the Arab Spring will forever change their country, this group of artists and activists begin filming their lives and the events around them. But as the regime’s violent response spirals the country into a bloody civil war, their hopes for a better future will be tested by violence, imprisonment and death.
Jury Motivation on the Venice Days Award, “The War Show provoked an impassioned response from the jury. We were immediately struck by the political and social significance and urgency of the film, while also appreciating its daring and innovative approach to filmmaking. We deliberated on whether or not this harrowing documentary should be included alongside the rest of the Venice Days lineup, which was comprised of narrative fiction features. However, we came to the conclusion that the film worked on its own merits as an outstandingly crafted piece of cinema, not simply one that appealed to our moral conscience. The War Show is also an incredibly topical film that sheds light on an ongoing conflict that is too often ignored or misrepresented by the media. We believe it is a film that each and every one of us should see.”
After the 2016 Venice Days Award was bestowed on The War Show by Andreas Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon, the Jury celebrated the other award-winning films.
The Europa Cinemas Label goes to Sámi Blood by Amanda Kernell, who will be collecting the award with producer Lars G. Lindström.
The Europa Cinemas Label is devoted to European-produced films and co-productions. The Label was created in 2003 by a network of European exhibitors of independent films (over 2,300 screens in more than 500 European cities), with the support of the European Union’s Media Programme, and consists of a cash prize for the distribution and promotion of the winning film, and its release in the cinemas belonging to the network.
The Brian Prize goes to Worldly Girl by Marco Danieli.
The UAAR (Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics) bestows an award on the best film presented at the Venice Film Festival; director Marco Danieli will be on hand to collect the award.
The Queer Lion goes to Heartstone by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson.
The Queer Lion is a film prize awarded annually since 2007 to the “Best Film with Homosexual & Queer Culture Themes”. Director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson will be on hand to collect the prize.
The Lina Mangiacapre Prize goes to the film Indivisible by Edoardo De Angelis.
Created in 1987 by Lina Mangiacapre and awarded by a jury made up of journalists and film critics (50% men, 50% women), the prize aims to “acknowledge films that honor diversity by showing the changing image of women as a subject of historical and cultural interest.” Director Edoardo De Angelis and producer Pierpaolo Verga will be on hand to collect the prize.
The Pasinetti Prizes:
Best Film: Indivisible by Edoardo De Angelis.
Best Actor: Michele Riondino for the film Worldly Girl by Marco Danieli.
Best Actress: Sara Serraiocco for the film Worldly Girl by Marco Danieli.
Marco Danieli will be collecting the prize on behalf of his actors.
A Special Mention goes to actresses Angela and Marianna Fontana for Indivisible by Edoardo De Angelis, who will be collecting the prize on their behalf.
The Pasinetti Prize, named after the director, screenwriter, film critic and photographer Francesco Pasinetti and assigned by the National Syndicate of Italian Film Journalists (SNGCI), is one of the collateral prizes of the Venice Film Festival.
The FEDEORA Prizes (Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean):
Best Film: The Road to Mandalay by Midi Z, who will be on hand to collect the prize.
Best Debut Filmmaker: Amanda Kernell (for the film Sámi Blood), also on hand to collect the prize.
Best Actress: Ashleigh Cummings for the film Hounds of Love by Ben Young, who will collect the prize on behalf of the actress.
Best European Film: Quit Staring at My Plate by Hana Jušić, on hand to collect the prize along with producer Ankica Jurić Tilić.
The Lizzani Prize goes to Worldly Girl by Marco Danieli.
The Lizzani Prize established by ANAC is dedicated to filmmaker Carlo Lizzani, a legendary figure in the Italian film industry and director of the Venice Film Festival from 1979 to 1982. The prize goes to film exhibitors who have shown the most courage in their choices. This year that exhibitor is Sino Accursio Caracappa from Sciacca, who has selected the winning film and will ensure it will be promoted and distributed in his cinemas.
Gianni Astrei Prize goes to the film Indivisible by Edoardo De Angelis
Vangelo by Pippo Delbono
No Borders by Haider Rashid