PHILIPPINE film The Woman Who Left, a revenge tale shot in black and white by director Lav Diaz, won the top Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.
“I want to dedicate this film to the Filippino people and their struggle, and humanity’s struggle,” Diaz said as he received his prize.
Best actor went to Argentina’s Oscar Martinez for his portrayal of a cynical Nobel Prize-winning author who returns to his village for the first time in 40 years in the comedy on art and fame, The Distinguished Citizen.
US actress Emma Stone received the best actress prize for her depiction of a struggling thespian who falls head over heels in love with a jazz pianist – played by Ryan Gosling – in US musical La La Land.
“I wish I could be there to make sure it’s not an elaborate prank,” quipped Stone in a video message, saying she could “think of no better place in the world than Venice to premier La La Land, we had a wonderful time”.
Fashionista-turned-director Tom Ford was awarded the Silver Lion grand jury prize for Nocturnal Animals, a romantic thriller about former lovers starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, with a violent revenge tale told as a story within a story.
The Silver Lion for best director was divided this year between Mexico’s Amat Escalante for The Untamed, about the sex life of an extraterrestrial, tentacled creature, and Russia’s Andrei Konchalovsky for Holocaust drama Paradise.
Jackie, a bio-drama which stars Natalie Portman as the grief-stricken widow of US President John F. Kennedy, meanwhile took best screenplay, with Chilean director Pablo Larrain saying the triumph was all Portman’s, “the only woman who could have played this role”.