Venezuelan film From Afar wins top award at Venice film fest

The first ever Venezuelan film to compete at the Venice Film Festival, From Afar (Desde Alla), won the top prize Golden Lion for Best Film on Saturday. The jury was headed by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron.


From Afar happened to be the directorial debut of Lorenzo Vigas in which he tells the story of a middle-aged man who pays young boys to spend time with him. One day, he befriends an 18-year-old delinquent and this relationship has far-reaching consequences.

The Silver Lion for Best Director went to Argentinian moviemaker, Pablo Trapero, for the gripping kidnap drama, The Clan. This is based on the real-life exploits of a Buenos Aires family which kidnapped and murdered their affluent neighbours in the 1980s — when the country was moving from the dark days of dictatorship to democracy.

Venice’s Grand Jury Prize went to the American film, Anomalisa, the first animated feature from Charlie Kaufman, co-directed with Duke Johnson. Voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis, the movie was adapted from Kaufman’s stage play and talks about the mid-life crisis of a motivational speaker.

The Special Jury Prize was clinched by Emin Alper’s Frenzy, which centres on two brothers struggling to live through political violence in Turkey.

Fabrice Luchini was adjudged Best Actor. He played a judge in Christian Vincent’s Courted who takes a fancy for a much younger juror. Vincent also won the Best Screenplay trophy.

Italy’s Valeria Golino walked away with the Best Actress trophy for playing a tormented woman in Giuseppe Gaudino’s Anna.

Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts Of No Nation saw Abraham Attah win the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor. Attah portrays an African child soldier alongside Idris Elba as a local warlord in the riveting drama.

As for the Orizzonti or New Horizons section, Jake Mahaffy’s American entry, Free In Deed, got the Best Film honour. Brady Corbet was declared Best Director for The Childhood of a Leader.

India’s Vetrimaaran, who had his Tamil work, Visaaranai (Interrogation), vying in Orizzonti, went home without a prize.