The winners of the Venice Film Festival!

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

VFF Director Rosi
Director Gianfranco Rosi on the red carpet.

Earlier in the week, we talked about the Venice Film Festival and the most buzzworthy movies, and now we’re back to tell you about the winners! Every year the Venice Film Festival closes the show by giving awards such as The Golden Lion, Best Actress, and Best Young Actor. The Golden Lion, which was introduced in 1949 by the organizing committee, is the highest prize given to a film at the Venice Film Festival, and is considered to be one of the film industry’s most distinguished prizes.

This year, the prize was awarded to Italian film, Sacro GRA, a documentary focusing on the lives of homeless people along the highway that circles Rome. Director Gianfranco Rosi has a lot to brag about when it comes to his film. 2013 was the first year the Venice Film Festival allowed documentaries to enter the competition! So, not only did Sacro GRA get amazing reviews, but it was the first documentary ever to win The Golden Lion. But wait, there’s more! It was also the first time an Italian film won the top prize in 15 years. Way to go, Rosi! Taming the lion and bringing him back home.

Now, when Rosi was asked about the success of the film, he seemed surprised. “I didn’t expect to win such an important prize with a documentary,” Rosi said. “It was truly an act of courage, a barrier has been broken. Now finally documentaries are being seen alongside fiction, therefore documentary is cinema.”

The next award, Best Actress, went to Italian Elena Cotta, for her movie A Street in Palermo. The film is about two women who are shut inside their cars and are unable to move when they get stuck on a narrow street. Now, get this! Cotta did not speak once in the movie, and relied on her facial expressions to show off her intensive acting skills.

Lastly, the award for Best Young Actor went to Tye Sheridan Actor for his role opposite Nicolas Cage in Joe. At just 16 years of age, Sheridan moved audiences with his performance as 15-year-old Gary who struggles to support his dysfunctional family.

Now, while the Venice Film Festival has finally closed its doors, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is just opening its own. This year, TIFF features an extensive amount of movies focusing on the theme of social justice. One movie in particular, called The Dark Matter of Love, is drawing praise from a variety of critics. The film tackles the Russian Government’s unjust halting of American adoptions, by highlighting the bonds of a Wisconsin family and their three adopted Russian children.

As TIFF gets into the swing of things, be on the lookout for our full coverage later in the week. The film festival, which began on September 5, will run until September 15.

Images courtesy of The Venice Film Festival.