The fifth edition of the Venice Film Week proved to be a success, with a full house – or at least, as full as current regulations would allow. We'd like to thank all of our guests for coming out and enjoying a face-masked evening packed with independent cinema gems.
This year we were privileged to receive over a thousand entries. Thirty wonderful films made it to the final selection for 2020. After lengthy consideration, our jury members chose the following films as this year's finest:
The prize for the Best Narrative Feature Film went to The Names Of The Flowers (Bolivia) by Bahman Tavoosi. As Bolivia stages the 50th anniversary of Ernesto "Che" Guevara’s death, Julia, an old countryside teacher, is invited to share her historical story with the world: Giving a bowl of soup to the captured guerrilla in her classroom, while he recited a poem about flowers to her, a few hours before his death. The invitation is withdrawn soon after, as other women step forward, claiming the story of “the soup and the flower” as their own.
Stories of the Half-Light (Italy) by Luca Magi was awarded as Best Feature Documentary Film. Rostom is a night shelter for homeless people located on the outskirts of a big Italian city. In the dark of the night, the faces of the people who stay there for just one night and the faces of those who have made the place their home are illuminated by the glow of cigarettes and their voices can be heard. Men and women with difficult pasts are exiled to a present life of perpetual waiting. A lost galaxy in which both the past and the future seem out of reach.
The prize for the Best Narrative Short Film went to Artemio's Loneliness Vol. 1 (Mexico) by Juan Carlos R. Larrondo. Sex, city lights and daydreaming. Artemio embarks on regular nocturnal escapades to a porn theater and clandestine gay spots downtown. Along the way, he describes his voyeuristic experiences. This is his life. Until he meets Octavio.
Best Animated Film was awarded to Flut (Germany) by Malte Stein. A dirty lake bursts its banks and begins to flood the town. At last there´s a good reason to keep the son at home. But in isolation, nightmarish associations start to mix with reality. And whilst outside the world sinks peacefully under water, a domestic apocalypse rages inside.
Darkness of Otherwhere (Japan) by Ayoub Qanir won Best Experimental Film. A young woman gets emotionally caught in a voyeuristic game on the dark shades of Tokyo only to reveal a darker past of her own.
Best Music Video award went to The Art Of Love (France) by Alejo Restrepo. In a desert, a blond woman, a dog and a voice declaiming in Mandarin. Space-time is uncertain, the alternation of static and dynamic phases intersects with a car trip; A brunette woman quotes Sun-Tzu in the original text of The Art of War. Is love only possible without war? The souvenirs, inseparable from the memory, take us to the crests of a stormy relationship between two women, whom everything seems to oppose, carried away by a passionate love.
Last but not least, the Best Italian Film award went to 35 [Temporary Number] (Italy) by Alessio Di Cosimo and Juan Diego Puerta Lopez. Two characters, two opposing worlds. Diego is a forty-year-old man, a dental technician, lives with his elderly mother after separating from his wife. Amanda is a South American trans woman, living alone in a house in the Roman suburbs, that same house where she prostitutes herself every night. The two apparently different worlds will merge in a moment of passion and transgression that will culminate with an explosion of violence and hatred.
Running during, but independent from the Venice Film Festival (Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica), the Venice Film Week focuses on the unconventional, the unusual, the underground, the intuitive, the innovative, the minimalistic and the true artists of our time.
See you all next year.