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Critics Week - Mostra del Cinema di Venezia

38. Venice Critics’ Week. The winners of the 2023 edition

todaySeptember 8, 2023

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All the winners of the 2023 edition of the Critics' Week. "Malqueridas" clinches the IWONDERFULL Grand Prize, and "Las memorias perdidas de los árboles" receives the Best Short Film Award.

The Venice International Critics’ Week (SIC), an autonomous and parallel section organized by the Sindacato Nazionale Critici Cinematografici Italiani (SNCCI) within the 80th International Film Festival of the Venice Biennale (August 30 – September 9, 2023), awarded the prizes for its 38th edition today, Friday, September 8.

“Malqueridas” wins the IWONDERFULL Grand Prize and the Mario Serandrei – Hotel Saturnia Award.

The international jury composed of Baloji, Ava Cahen, and Bianca Oana awarded the IWONDERFULL Grand Prize to “Malqueridas” by Tana Gilbert.

Here is the award rationale: “Because its subject is dizzying because its formal approach is masterful, a radical gesture that brings the off-screen to life and shows us only the details, the blurred image, the stolen pixels. Narrative and setup are subservient to testimonies. The director places us alongside incarcerated women without expressing any judgment of their worth, which is a marvel of the poetic license of cinema.”

Also, “Malqueridas” is awarded the Mario Serandrei – Hotel Saturnia Award for Best Technical Contribution, awarded by a dedicated committee of experts composed of Matteo Berardini, Marco Contino, Raffaella Giancristofaro, with the following rationale: “For the intricate post-production process through which clandestine images of life in a women’s prison, otherwise inaccessible, are given cinematic form. This film device makes the low-definition source material accessible while respecting it. A non-aestheticizing technical choice with clear political value.”

“Hoard” won The Film Club Audience Award and a special mention for actress Saura Lightfoot Leon.

Luna Carmoon‘s “Hoard” receives The Film Club Audience Award with a rating of 4.5/5.00 and the Verona Cinema Circle Award, awarded by a jury under 35 composed of Luca Fron, Federico Mango, Alessia Origano, Lorenzo Zampini, Marika Zandanel, with the following rationale: “You asked us to get dirty, to swallow our certainties and radically subvert our concept of refuse. At that point, we understood only by plunging our hands into a landfill of objects, memories, and emotions can this accumulation be transformed into a home. The Verona Cinema Circle Award for the most innovative film of the International Critics’ Week goes to ‘Hoard’ by Luna Carmoon.”

The international jury also awarded a special mention to Saura Lightfoot Leon for her role in Luna Carmoon‘s film “Hoard” and to Ariane Labed, one of the protagonists of Adrien Beau‘s film “Le Vourdalak”.

Here are the motivations:

“We were amazed by the charisma and talent of the lead actress in ‘Hoard,’ Saura Lightfoot Leon, and wanted to pay tribute to her brilliant debut.” “Her presence still pervades us. The jury wishes to highlight Ariane Labed’s performance in ‘The Vourdalak’ for its precision, grace, and composure and for portraying a marginalized female character with strength and dignity.”

SIC@SIC (Short Italian Cinema @ International Critics’ Week)

As part of the eighth edition of SIC@SIC (Short Italian Cinema @ International Critics’ Week), the jury, composed of three film industry professionals – Nicoletta Romeo, Eddie Bertozzi, and Matteo Tortone -selected the following winners from the seven short films in competition:

Best Short Film Award

Antonio La Camera‘s “Las memorias perdidas de los árboles” received the Best Short Film Award, with the rationale: “For imagining a sensory experience, a hallucinogenic journey, a psychedelic vertigo. But above all, for leading us through an intense emotional exploration that moves and astonishes, transcending the naturalistic aspect to the most profoundly human heart of suffering and loss.”

Best Director Award

Gabriele Biasi‘s “La linea del terminatore” receives the Best Director Award, with the rationale: “For the formal research with which the author creates a work in which the selection of public and private archive materials, juxtaposing spiritual and emotional preparation with distant journeys and introspection, conveys a coherent and poetic vision of a refined and, above all, human cinema.”

Best Technical Contribution Award

Angela Norelli‘s “We Should All Be Futurists” receives the Best Technical Contribution Award, with the rationale: “Through meticulous research of archive materials, sharp text, engaging irony, and comedy, it proposes a reversal of warmongering and macho rhetoric, constructing a lightning-fast and light-hearted narrative of individual liberation.”

– – –

“Passion for Criticism,” the closing film of Critics’ Week

On Saturday, September 9, at 11:30 a.m., at the Perla Hall of the Casino Palace, “Passione Critica” by Simone Isola, Franco Montini, and Patrizia Pistagnesi will be presented. Produced by the National Union of Film Critics (SNCCI), with the support of the Directorate-General for Cinema and Audiovisual of the Ministry of Culture, the documentary is a special screening and joint event of the 80th Exhibition alongside the International Critics’ Week and the Authors’ Days. Following that, at 2:00 pm, there will be screenings of the short and feature films that won the Grand Prize of the International Critics’ Week in the Perla Hall.

Comment on this edition by the General Delegate, Beatrice Fiorentino:

“An extraordinarily vibrant edition of SIC has come to an end. We are thrilled with the reception our films have received, the audience attendance, the attention from the press and critics, and the warmth and sense of community that is developing around the International Critics’ Week.”

Written by: Federica Scarpa


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