2019/2020 Key Dates
Film Critics Update: Today, January 14 - Winners from Denver FCS.

Friday, September 06, 2019

13th Queer Lion Award Winner

The 2019 Queer Lion Award goes to Chile in a co production with Argentina and Belgium, a movie by Sebastián Muñoz that premiered in the always "strange" section of the Venice Film Festival, Settimana Internazionale della Critica.  El Príncipe (The Prince) wins with the following motivation from the jurors.

"El Príncipe is a passionate portrait of life in a Chilean prison on the eve of Allende’s rise to power in 1970. The savage brutality of prison life is contrasted by intensely emotional relationships between prisoners. Led by a towering Alfredo Castro, the excellent ensemble cast give stirring performances of a powerful script which conveys the paradoxical acceptance of gay attachments in prison at a time when it was not socially acceptable. Sebastián Muñoz’s directorial debut is a bold and erotically charged exploration of recent history which reveals an unexpected tenderness at its heart."

Awards ceremony will be tonight at 6:00pm at the Sala Tropicana in the Italian Pavilion of Hotel Excelsior.

These are the films competing for the 2019 Queer Lion Award

In Competition

Ema, Pablo Larraín, Chile

Moffie, Oliver Hermanus, South Africa and UK
Rialto, Peter Mackie Burns, Ireland and UK

Giornate degli Autori
Barn (Beware of Children), Dag Johan Haugerud, Norway and Sweeden
House of Cardin, P. David Ebersoler and Todd Hughes, USA (documentary)
Lingua Franca, Isabel Sandoval, USA and Philippines

Settimana Internazionale della Critica
Bombay Rose, Gitanjali Rao, UK, India, France and Qatar (animation)
El Príncipe (The Prince), Sebastián Muñoz, Chile, Argentina and Belgium
Psykosia (Psychosia), Marie Grahtø, Denmark and Finlad

President: Brian Robinson, film journalist, UK
Federico Boni, film internet journalist, Italy
Giacomo S. Pistolato, film journalist, Italy

Out of Competition
Special Event
不散 Bu San (Goodbye, Dragon Inn), Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan, 2003

Short Films
Darling, Saim Sadiq, Pakistan and USA, 16'
GUO4, Peter Strickland, Hungary, 3'
Le Coup des Larmes (The Tears Thing), Clémence Poesy, France, 20'

To check available info and trailers go @MOC.

Post will be in progress until August 26 and will be updated regularly as official site does its update.

Also to consider what is written at award's official site:  "The list of the movies competing for the award might be updated with new titles, until the day of the jury's deliberation".  Seems award organizers haven't found yet a reliable procedure to identify films that can an can't compete for the award, it has happened in previous years and unfortunately still happens.  Wish organizers could contact Berlinale Teddy Award to learn from their experience.  Sigh.

Nevertheless, there are some films that seem could be interesting like the latest by Oliver Hermanus.

Wish to share a brief award history as tells about how difficult is to create, organize and maintain awards like this one in large film festivals.

The idea of a Queer Lion sparked in 2003 from an interview for the monthly magazine Venezia News, made by journalist and fim critic Daniel N. Casagrande to the director of the Venice Film Festival Moritz De Hadeln. Casagrande asked De Hadeln if he would have allowed the creation of a specific award for queer cinema in Venice, the same way he had endorsed, 20 years before, the creation of Teddy Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Despite a positive answer from De Hadeln, he was not reappointed to the direction of the Festival, therefore preventing the Queer Lion from seeing the light already in 2004. The project started again under the new Festival director Marco Müller, and had its inaugural edition during the 64. Venice International Film Festival.

The Queer Lion Award was therefore founded in 2007 thanks to Daniel N. Casagrande and Marco Müller, as a collateral award recognising the “Best Film with Homosexual & Queer Culture Themes”.  The award – supported from the start by former M.P. and LGBT activist Franco Grillini – is fully endorsed, since 2012 by Alberto Barbera, current director of the Venice International Film Festival.

The award singles out, each year, the title deemed most deserving, both for artistic contribution, social impact and civil commitment, among all the LGBT-themed works presented in the Festival’s sidebars and parallel sections: Competition, Out of Competition, Horizons, Venice Classics, Biennale College, Sconfini, Venice Days, International Critics’ Week.

The Biennale of Venice officially recognizes Queer Lion as ‘collateral award of the Venice International Film Festival’, and actively cooperates every year, granting the organization of the award direct access to the structures and facilities of the Festival, as well as inserting the prize in its official list of collateral awards.

The line up of titles competing for the Queer Lion Award is compiled each year with the collaboration of the Venice International Film Festival director (Alberto Barbera), the general delegate of Giornate degli Autori (Giorgio Gosetti), and the general delegate of Settimana della Critica (Giona A. Nazzaro), choosing among the films with LGBT stories and characters, dealing with civil rights issues related to different sexual orientations, equal opportunities, and the fight against homophobia.

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