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Gay movie Desde Allá wins top prize in Venice

Gay movie Desde Allá wins top prize in Venice

Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas’ powerful debut feature movie Desde Allá has won the Venince Film Festival’s top Golden Lion prize.

The drama set in Caracas, also known as From Afar, tells the story of a 50-year-old rich gay man who gets sexually involved with a 17-year-old leader from one of the city’s gangs.

Quietly but powerfully, the movie maps the currents of sex, money and violence beneath the surface of Venezuelan society in 93 minutes.

‘I want to dedicate this prize to my amazing country, Venezuela,’ Vigas said to an applauding audience. ‘I know we have a few problems, but if we talk about them we will overcome them.’

Venezuela is going through a serious economic crisis that resulted in months of street protests last year over the shortage of many goods.

Vigas, previously with only one short movie to his name, has made history by getting the first Venezuelan movie into the world’s oldest film festival and then winning its top prize.

‘Rarely taking the path of cheap exposition where convincing character psychology will do, this smart, unsensationalized examination of the slow-blossoming relationship between a middle-aged loner and a young street tough trusts auds to make the necessary connections in a narrative that merges its characters’ respective father complexes to moving, equivocal effect,’ reviewed Variety.

Italian distributor Valerio De Paolis picked up Desde Allá shortly after it screened in Venice on Thursday.

The Danish Girl, featuring Eddie Redmayne as pioneer transgender artist Lili Elbe, left the Italian city without any of the top prizes, as the jury chaired by Alfonso Cuarón gave the best actor award to Fabrice Luchini, who played a judge in Christian Vincent’s L’Hermine, or Courted.

Director Tom Hooper accepted the Queer Lion Award on Friday for his film’s ‘straightforward and honest portrayal of gender issues within a marriage.’

Winners of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival:

Golden Lion for Best Film to: DESDE ALLÁ (FROM AFAR) by Lorenzo Vigas (Venezuela, Mexico)
Silver Lion for Best Director to: Pablo Trapero for the film EL CLAN (Argentina, Spain)
Grand Jury Prize to: ANOMALISA by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson (USA)
Coppa Volpi for Best Actress: Valeria Golino in the film PER AMOR VOSTRO by Giuseppe Gaudino (Italy)
Coppa Volpi for Best Actor: Fabrice Luchini in the film L’HERMINE by Christian Vincent (France)
 Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor to: Abraham Attah in the film BEASTS OF NO NATION by Cary Joji Fukunaga (USA)
Award for Best Screenplay to: Christian Vincent for the film L’HERMINE by Christian Vincent  (France)
Special Jury Prize to: ABLUKA (FRENZY) by Emin Alper (Turkey, France, Qatar)
Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film to: THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER by Brady Corbet (United Kingdom, Hungary) (ORIZZONTI)