It was a good night for great cinema. And an important night for cinema from the MENA.
Soudade Kaadan's Nezouh secured the Armani Beauty Audience Award in Orizzonti Extra, proving that the majority of male critics are sadly out of touch with what audiences truly like. Nezouh also received a Lanterna Magica Award from the Associazione Nazionale C.G.S.
Luca Guadagnino walked the red carpet dressed in a blue suit and signed autographs, hugged the fans and took selfies on his way to a Best Director Silver Lion win.
Cate Blanchett giggled and covered her face from the inside jokes Todd Field, her director in Tár seemed to crack in front of the Palazzo del Cinema. She was also on her way to a Coppa Volpi for Best Actress win for her role as an orchestra conductor who seems to have it all together, unhinging.
In Orizzonti, Iran's Mohsen Tanabandeh won the Best Actor prize for his role in Houman Seyedi's World War III and the film also nabbed the Orizzonti Award for Best Film.
The Orizzonti Jury of the 79th Venice Film Festival, was chaired by Isabel Coixet and comprised of Laura Bispuri, Antonio Campos, Sofia Djama and Edouard Waintrop.
Jafar Panahi's film within a film latest No Bears won the Special Jury Prize. On the Competition jury led by Julianne Moore, were Mariano Cohn, Leonardo Di Costanzo, Audrey Diwan, Leila Hatami, Kazuo Ishiguro and Rodrigo Sorogoyen and they viewed 23 films in total.
Saint Omer by Alice Diop won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize as well as the Luigi de Laurentis Lion of the Future for a Debut Film.
The top award, the coveted Golden Lion for Best Film went to Oscar winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras for her hauntingly wonderful All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, which highlights the odyssey by American photographer Nan Goldin in getting Big Pharma, Opioid crisis creators the Sackler family's name removed from art institutions around the world.