Venezuela grabs the highest award at the 72nd Venice Film Festival

An overview of Caracas, from the imposing Avila mountain. Photo: AP

Despite the political and social turmoil that has overwhelmed Venezuela for more than a decade, one bit of unexpected good news came from the jury panel of the 72nd Venice Film Festival. Venezuela’s entry From Afar (Desde Alla) starring Chilean actor Alfredo Castro and newly discovered talent Luis Silva was awarded the Golden Lion, the maximum award given to the films in competition, and trumping all advanced predictions. The film directed by Lorenzo Vigas and produced in cooperation with Mexico, depicts the relationship between an aging gay man and a young street hood, raised on the violent streets of Caracas. The difficult and constant struggle for life, love and friendship amidst the violent backdrop of Venezuela’s capital, named one of the most violent cities in the world certainly had enough elements to entice the jury in its favor.

Director awarded the Golden Lion at the 72nd Venice Film Festival. Photo courtesy: Yahoo News.

Mexican director, Alfonzo Cuaron holds the position of jury President in this year’s festival, accompanied by fellow jury members and known directors such as Pawel Pawlikowski, Lynne Ramsay, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Hou Hsiao-hsien. Certainly with a jury not lacking in auteur numbers, many expected the Golden Lion to be awarded to the film Anomalisa, a stop-motion animation film, according to The Guardian.  From Afar is the first Venezuelan film to be in competition in Venice but perhaps with the important precedent set in this year’s La Biennale, it may not be the last.

About ADRIANA DELGADO 68 Articles
Art Film File is a site for cinephiles ,who like myself, have a deep respect, love, and admiration for independent and foreign films of every era. Readers who follow Art Film File are for the most part adverse to the "Hollywood Blockbuster" theorem (although there are many good ones out there) showing instead a strong inclination to connect with films that explore topics such as life, identity and philosophy without necessarily following a neat studio-oriented narrative. In the past, much like it is now, many independent and foreign films get done many times with countless challenges. Small budgets, little or no outside funding and absence of willing distributors are some of the problems that many American and foreign independent filmmakers face regularly. Art Film File acts as a conduit in bringing these films, past and present, to the public's attention. Art Film File is also a site that displays detailed reviews about films they haven't seen as well as for films they have seen and wish to share their own views. I plan to include interviews with filmmakers and actors of indie and foreign films in addition to articles depicting topics of interest for readers who already follow Art Film File and for those waiting to discover it. Adriana Delgado Founder and Blog Manager of Art Film File

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