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Home International Cinema Helen Mirren The Queen of Venice + Nicole Kidman + Monica Bellucci to Rule Rome?

Helen Mirren The Queen of Venice + Nicole Kidman + Monica Bellucci to Rule Rome?

Nicole Kidman Fur movie Diane Arbus
Nicole Kidman in Fur is Rome Film Festival entry while Helen Mirren is the queen of the Venice Film Festival.

Helen Mirren: The Queen of Venice Film Festival

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

“Thank you, Tony Blair, for timing your political disintegration with the release of our film.” That’s The Queen‘s screenwriter Peter Morgan, winner of the Best Screenplay Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival. In The Queen, which was directed by Stephen Frears, Coppa Volpi for Best Actress winner Helen Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth II, at odds with the Blair government following the death of Princess Diana. (For those into betting on future Oscar nominees, Mirren is a cinch – and she has a very good chance of actually winning the award.)

The surprise Golden Lion winner was Jia Zhang-Ke’s Sanxia Haoren / Still Life. A late entry at the festival, Still Life portrays the plight of the people of Fengjie, a village destroyed by the building of the Three Gorges dam. More than 1 million Chinese have been forced to relocate because of the dam.

Another surprise winner was Ben Affleck, who was awarded the Coppa Volpi for Best Actor for his performance as actor George Reeves in the film noir Hollywoodland, about the death of TV’s Superman.

The Best Director was 84-year-old veteran Alain Resnais for Coeurs / Private Fears in Public Places, which had been one of the top contenders for the Golden Lion. Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad had won the Golden Lion back in 1961.

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Daratt, about the lingering effects of Chad’s civil war, took the Special Jury Prize.

The Great Italian Hope, Gianni Amelio’s La stella che non c’è / The Missing Star, failed to win a single major award.

Golden Lion for Best Film: Sanxia Haoren / Still Life by Jia Zhang-Ke

Special Jury Prize: Daratt by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Silver Lion for Best Director: Alain Resnais for Coeurs / Private Fears in Public Places

Silver Lion Revelation: Emanuele Crialese for Nuovomondo / Golden Door

Coppa Volpi for Best Actor: Ben Affleck for Hollywoodland by Allen Coulter

Coppa Volpi for Best Actress: Helen Mirren for The Queen by Stephen Frears

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Isild Le Besco for L’intouchable by Benoît Jacquot

Osella for Best Screenplay: Peter Morgan for The Queen by Stephen Frears

Osella for Best Technical Contribution: Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki for Children of Men by Alfonso Cuarón

Special Lion: Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet for innovation in the language of cinema

Grand Jury: Catherine Deneuve (president), José Juan Bigas Luna, Paulo Branco, Cameron Crowe, Chulpan Khamatova, Park Chan-wook, Michele Placido

Nicole Kidman to open Rome Film Fest: Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

Best Actress Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours) will open the first edition of the Rome Film Fest, the latest Italian competitor to the decades-old Venice Film Festival. Kidman will present the world premiere of Steven Shainberg’s Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus at the Rome Film Fest grand opening gala on October 13 in the Santa Cecilia Hall at the Auditorium Parco della Musica. Inspired by Patricia Bosworth’s book Diane Arbus – A Biography, Fur – as made clear by the film’s full title – is a fictionalized account of the life of American photographer Diane Arbus. (Image: Nicole Kidman in Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus.)

Besides Nicole Kidman, the Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Ty Burrell, Harris Yulin, Jason Alexander, Emmy Clarke, and Genevieve McCarthy. Screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson.

Monica Bellucci in N (Io e Napoleone): Screenplay co-written by veteran Furio Scarpelli

Paolo Virzi’s N (Me and Napoleon) / N (Io e Napoleone) is another entry in the Rome Film Fest Première section. Starring Monica Bellucci, Daniel Auteuil (as Napoleon Bonaparte), and Elio Germano, the costume drama revolves around an anti-Napoleonic teacher who is appointed librarian to the French emperor during his exile on the island of Elba. (Image: Monica Bellucci in N (Me and Napoleon).)

Based on Ernesto Ferrero’s novel N, the N (Me and Napoleon) screenplay is credited to Paolo Virzi, Francesco Bruni, Giacomo Scarpelli, and Scarpelli’s father, the veteran Furio Scarpelli, whose nearly 150 screenwriting credits include Big Deal on Madonna Street, The Great War, The Organizer, and The Witches.

Besides Monica Bellucci, Daniel Auteuil, and Elio Germano, the N (Io e Napoleone) cast also features Valerio Mastandrea, Sabrina Impacciatore, Omero Antonutti, Margarita Lozano, Francesca Inaudi, and Massimo Ceccherini.

Mira Nair’s The Namesake movie is third Rome Film Fest Première presentation (image: Irrfan Khan and Tabu in The Namesake)

The third Rome Film Fest movie to be screened in the Première section will be Mira Nair’s The Namesake, featuring Kal Penn, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Jacinda Barrett, and Zuleikha Robinson. Adapted by Sooni Taraporevala from the novel by Pulitzer prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake depicts the cultural and personal hardships faced by an Indian family after emigrating from Calcutta to New York.

Sean Connery: Rome Film Fest Acting Award recipient

And finally, Sean Connery, former James Bond and Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner for Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, will receive the Acting Award, established by the Rome Film Fest “to celebrate great contemporary performers.”

The Rome Film Fest runs October 13–21.

Nicole Kidman in Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus image: Rome Film Fest.

Montreal World & Zimbabwe Film Festival Awards

The winners at the 30th Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal Festival des Films du Monde) were announced on Sept. 4, 2006.

Eiji Okuda’s Nagai Sanpo / A Long Walk, a Japanese drama about an old man (veteran Ken Ogata) who goes out for a long stroll with a mysterious little girl, and Carlos Diegues’ O Maior Amor do Mundo / The Greatest Love of All, the story of a dying Brazilian man (José Wilker) searching for the identity of his biological mother, shared the Grand Prix of the Americas at the Montreal World Film Festival, which came to a close yesterday. Nagai Sanpo also won the International Film Critics’ FIPRESCI prize and the Ecumenical Prize.

The Special Jury Prize went to Yang Yazhou’s Chinese drama Snow in the Wind, about a country girl so in love with the movies that she marries a film projectionist. Hans Peter Moland was chosen Best Director for the Norwegian drama GymnaslÁ¦rer Pedersen / Comrade Pedersen, which revolves around Marxism, romance, and sex. Edin Hadzimahovic received the Best Screenplay Award for Warchild, a German/Slovenian drama about the Bosnian war directed by Christian Wagner.

The Best Actor was Filip Peeters for his performance as an innocent man sent to prison in Morocco in the Midnight Express-like De Hel van Tanger / Hell in Tangier, while the Best Actress was Ni Ping for Snow in the Wind.

Honorary awards were given to actors Bruno Ganz, Rémy Girard, and Bulle Ogier.


Grand prix of the Americas:
NAGAI SANPO / A LONG WALK by Eiji Okuda (Japan)

Special Jury Prize:
SNOW IN THE WIND by Yang Yazhou (China)

Best Director:

Best Actor:
Filip Peeters for DE HEL VAN TANGER / HELL IN TANGIER by Frank Van Mechelen (Belgium / Spain)

Best Actress:
Ni Ping for SNOW IN THE WIND by Yang Yazhou (China)

Best Screenplay:
Edin Hadzimahovic for WARCHILD by Christian Wagner (Germany / Slovenia)

Best Artistic contribution:

Innovation Award:
RUIDO by César Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)

Special awards for their exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art:
Bruno Ganz
Rémy Girard
Bulle Ogier

FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) Prize:
NAGAI SANPO / A LONG WALK by Eiji Okuda (Japan)

Ecumenical Prize:
NAGAI SANPO / A LONG WALK by Eiji Okuda (Japan)

Grand Prix of the Americas Jury: Canadian director Marc-André Forcier, American actress Kathy Bates, Danish producer Vibeke Windelov, Argentinian actor Federico Luppi, and French screenwriter Guillaume Laurant

Zimbabwe Film Festival

Best Film
Paradise Now ( France / Germany / Netherlands / Israel / Palestine)
by Hany Abu-Assad

Special Jury Mentions
Alles auf Zucker! / Go for Zucker by Dani Levy (Germany)
Appurushîdo / Appleseed by Shinji Aramaki (Japan)

Calabash Award for Best Zimbabwean Production
Evil in Our Midst, produced and directed by Anopa Makaka (Zimbabwe)

Best Director
Ousmane Sembene for Moolaadé (Senegal)

Best Actor
Imad Creidi for Zozo (Sweden)

Best Actress
Krystyna Feldman for Mój Nikifor / My Nikifor (Poland)

Best Screenplay
Éléonore Faucher and Gaelle Macé for Brodeuses / A Common Thread (France)

Best Documentary
The Mother’s House by François Verster (South Africa)

Special Jury Mention
Lost Children by Oliver Stoltz and Ali Samadi Ahadi (Germany)

Best Short Film
Melodrama (Poland)

Special Jury Mention
Chipo Changu by Arnold Shoko

Zimbabwe Best Animated Film
Zero Degree by Omid Khoshnazar (Iran)

Short Film Project Award
The Search, written by Charles Mawungwa, directed by Brighton
Tazarurwa (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwe Film Service Award
Stephen Chigorimbo

African Co-Production Forum Winners
Charity Maruta for the project “Echoing Silence”
Mary-Ann Mandishona for the project “Flamelily”

ACF/Talent Campus Winner
Musekiwa Samuriwo for the project “Cup of Glory”

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