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Arab lions
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 19 - 09 - 2018

The young Syrian-French filmmaker Soudade Kaadan's debut, The Day I Lost My Shadow was the only Arab film participating in the 75th Venice Film Festival (29 August-8 September) – and it received the Lion of the Future Award. An honest and nuanced depiction of the ravages of civil war, it is the story of a mother separated from her son during violent clashes in the Damascus countryside. Filming in a similar landscape in Lebanon with a cast made up largely of Syrian refugees, Kaadan employs a documentary style to shed light on the humanity and strangeness of life under duress.
A remarkable round featuring a wide variety of fare, this year the Venice jury was headed by Guillermo del Toro. The Golden Lion went to Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, the Grand Jury Prize to Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite and the Special Jurtu Prize to Australian filmmaker Jennifer Kent's The Nightingale. Other winners include French Palme d'Or winner Jacques Audiard (Best Director) for his neo-Western The Sisters Brothers starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly and Willem Dafoe for his portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh in Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate.

VENICE FILM FESTIVAL OFFICIAL AWARDS

IN COMPETITION
Golden Lion: “Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron
Silver Lion for Best Director: Jacques Audiard, “The Sisters Brothers”
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity's Gate”
Best Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
Special Jury Prize: “The Nightingale” Jennifer Kent
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer: Baykali Ganambarr “The Nightingale”

HORIZONS (ORIZZONTI)
Best Film: “Manta Ray,” Phuttiphong Aroonpheng
Best Director: Emir Baigazin, “The River”
Special Jury Prize: “The Announcement,” Mahmut Fazil Coskun
Best Actress: Natalya Kudryashova “The Man Who Surprised Everyone”
Best Actor: Kais Nashif “Tel Aviv on Fire”
Best Screenplay: “Jinpa,” Pema Tseden
Best Short Film: “Kado,” Aditya Ahmad

LION OF THE FUTURE: “The Day I Lost My Shadow,” Soudade Kaadan, Syria
Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film:

VENICE CLASSICS
Best Documentary on Cinema: “The Great Buster: A Celebration,” Peter Bogdanovich
Best Restored Film: “The Night of the Shooting Stars,” Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
VIRTUAL REALITY COMPETITION Best Virtual Reality: “Spheres,” Eliza McNitt
Best Virtual Reality Experience: “Buddy VR,” Chuck Chae
Best Virtual Reality Story: “Isle of the Dead,” Benjamin Nuel


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