Opioid documentary wins top prize at Venice

For only the second time in its ninety year history, the Venice Film Festival has given its top prize, to a documentary.

All The Beauty And the Bloodshed follows the artist Nan Goldin’s efforts to bring down the Sackler family, seen as partly responsible for America’s opioid epidemic. Accepting the Golden Lion, the film’s director Laura Poitras thanked the festival for “understanding that documentary is cinema.”

Poitras – previously best known for her documentary Citizenfour, about the CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden – also spoke out in support of the Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who’s currently in detention in his home country. His film No Bears was awarded the Special Jury Prize.

Poitras’ win also marks the third year in a row that a female director has won the festival’s top prize.

Alice Diop’s Saint Omer won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize – and the Lion of the Future award for the best debut film.

The Italian film-maker Luca Guadagnino was named the best director for his cannibal love s tory, Bones And All. One of the film’s star’s, Taylor Russell, was honoured as the best new talent at the festival.

The two main acting awards went to Cate Blanchett, for TÁR, and Colin Farrell for The Banshees Of Inisherin, which also won the best screenplay prize for its director, Martin McDonagh.

Here is the full list of winners from this year’s Venice Film Festival – one of the first events to showcase films that are likely to feature in the upcoming awards season:


Golden Lion for best film – All The Beauty And The Bloodshed, dir. Laura Poitras

Silver Lion grand jury prize – Saint Omer, dir. Alice Diop

Silver Lion for best director – Luca Guadagnino, Bones And All

Coppa Volpi for best actress – Cate Blanchett, TÁR

Coppa Volpi for best actor – Colin Farrell, The Banshees Of Inisherin

Best screenplay award – Martin McDonagh, The Banshees Of Inisherin

Special jury prize – No Bears, dir. Jafar Panahi

Marcello Mastroianni award for best new talent – Taylor Russell, Bones And All

Lion of the Future Luigi De Laurentis award for debut film – Saint Omer, dir. Alice Diop


Best film – World War III, dir. Houman Seyyedi

Best director – Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmer, Vera

Special jury prize – Bread And Salt, dir. Damian Kocur

Best actress – Vera Gemma, Vera

Best actor – Mohsen Tanabandeh, World War III

Best screenplay – Fernando Guzzoni, Blanquita

Best short – Snow In September, dir. Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir

Horizons Extra

Audience award – Nezouh, dir. Soudade Kaadan

Venice Classics

Best documentary – Fragments Of Paradise, dir. KD Davison

Best restored film – Branded To Kill, dir. Seijun Suzuki


Best experience – The Man Who Couldn’t Leave, cre. Chen Singing

Grand jury prize – From The Main Square, cre. Pedro Harres

Special jury prize – Eggscape, cre. German Heller, Jorge Tereso, Federico Heller