TEHRAN — Iranian drama “World War III” won producer and director Hooman Seyyedi the Orizzonti Award for Best Picture and its star Mohsen Tanabandeh the category Best Actor award at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on Saturday.
In their acceptance speeches, Seyyedi dedicated the award to the people of his country and Tanabandeh thanked his wife for her support and said he was so happy to have been able to walk the airwaves until he returned to Tehran. .
Tanabandeh received the award for his portrayal of Shakib, a homeless day laborer who never recovered from the loss of his wife and son in an earthquake years ago.
Over the past two years, he has developed a relationship with a deaf and mute woman, Ladan. The building site he works on today turns out to be the setting for a film about the atrocities committed by Hitler during World War II. Against all odds, he is given a role in the cinema, a house and a chance to be someone. When Ladan learns of this, she comes to her workplace to ask for help. Shakib’s plan to hide her goes tragically wrong and threatens to ruin his new status and what seemed to be his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Orizzonti jury was chaired by Isabel Coixet and made up of Laura Bispuri, Antonio Campos, Sofia Djama and Edouard Waintrop.
The Best Director award in this category went to Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel for “Vera”, while Vera Gemma was chosen as Best Actress for her role in the Austrian film.
The Orizzonti Special Jury Prize was awarded to “Bread and Salt” by Damian Kocur from Poland.
The Orizzonti Prize for Best Screenplay went to “Blanquita” written and directed by Fernando Guzzoni. The film is a co-production of Chile, Mexico, Luxembourg, France and Poland.
“Snow in September”, a co-production between France and Mongolia directed by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir, was voted best short film.
In the main competition in Venice, the American documentary “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” by Laura Poitras won the Golden Lion for best film.
The film follows the life of artist Nan Goldin and the downfall of the Sackler family, the pharmaceutical dynasty that was largely responsible for the unfathomable death toll of the opioid epidemic.
Julianne Moore chaired the jury, which included Iranian actress Leila Hatami and Mariano Cohn, Leonardo Di Costanzo, Audrey Diwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Rodrigo Sorogoyen.
The Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize went to “Saint Omer” by Alice Diop of France, while the Silver Lion for Best Director went to Luca Guadagnino for “Bones and All”, an American co-production -Italian.
Cate Blanchet won Best Actress for her role in Todd Field’s “Tár,” and Colin Farrell won Best Actor for his role in “The Banshees of Inisherin.”
Directed and written by Martin McDonagh, the film also won Best Screenplay.
“No Bears” by Iranian director Jafar Panahi received the special jury prize.
The Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress went to Taylor Russell for his role in ‘Bones and All’.
An entry in this section “Beyond the Wall” by Iranian director Vahid Jalilvand did not win an award.
Photo: A combination photo shows director Hooman Seyyedi and actor Mohsen Tanabandeh posing with the Orizzonti awards for ‘World War III’ during the winners photocall at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 10, 2022 in Venice, Italy. (Getty Images/Andreas Rentz, Stephane Cardinale)