Road trip drama ’Nomadland’ named best film at Venice Film Festival
Rome - The Golden Lion for best film was awarded to Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao's drama "Nomadland" at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.
The US production is about a woman who turns into a modern-day nomad, driving across the American West after the economic collapse of a town in rural Nevada.
Seen as a 2021 Oscar contender, it stars Frances McDormand and David Strathairn.
The second most prestigious award of the night - the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize - went to Mexican director Michel Franco's "Nuevo Orden." It also tackles economic concerns, in this case the gap between rich and poor in a near-future Mexico.
The festival jury honoured 32-year-old Vanessa Kirby, of Britain, as best actress for "Pieces of a Woman." In the drama by the Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo, she plays a woman who loses her child moments after birth.
The award for the best actor went to the Italian Pierfrancesco Favino for his performance in "Padrenostro," which tells of a traumatic childhood in Italy in the 1970s.
Venice held the first major film festival since the onset of the global novel coronavirus pandemic, with organizers having to adapt to the unusual circumstances.
The lagoon-side festival was far less glitzy this year, with a much reduced Hollywood presence, socially distanced film screenings and face masks to be worn throughout the premises.
In the in-competition category, eight out of 18 films, including "Nomadland," were directed by women, reflecting the festival's efforts to respond to past criticism about gender imbalance in its selection.
This year's jury president was Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett.