‘Nomadland’ Wins Golden Lion Award at Venice Film Festival
“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.”
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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.
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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 d