Venice Film Fest 2018: Cuaron’s Roma Wins Golden Lion; The Favourite Wins Grand Jury Prize

Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” a black-and-white drama based on the director’s memories of growing up in Mexico City in the early 1970s, marking his return to Spanish-language filmmaking, is the winner of the Venice Film Fest Golden Lion.

“This award and this festival are incredibly important to me,” said Cuaron who thanked producer David Linda and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos.

The Netflix release, produced by Participant Media, took the top prize among 21 entries competing in one of the Lido’s strongest editions ever, winning over a jury headed by Guillermo Del Toro who at the start of the fest had assured he would be doing no favors for his Mexican peer.

Speculation of favoritism on Del Toro’s part is unlikely to be much of an issue, since “Roma” was a major festival favorite, topping Italian critics’ lists and getting glowing reviews across the board.

“Working with Alfonso on ‘Roma’ has already been an amazing journey for everyone at Participant, and we are beyond thrilled that his brilliant film has been honored with the Golden Lion,” said Linda in a statement. “This film is a gift to all audiences, transcending language and cultural barriers and inspiring compassion across the globe.”

Winners of the 2018 Venice Film Fest

Golden Lion: “Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron, U.S. Mexico

Grand Jury Prize: “The Favourite,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece, U.K.

Silver Lion for Best Director: Jacques Audiard, “The Sisters Brothers,” U.S.

Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite,” Greece, U.K.

Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate,” U.S.

Best Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” U.S.

Special Jury Prize: “The Nightingale” Jennifer Kent, Australia

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer: Baykali Ganambarr “The Nightingale,” Australia

Horizons (Orizzonti)

Best Film: “Manta Ray,” Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Thailand

Best Director: Emir Baigazin, Emir Baigazin, Kazakhstan

Special Jury Prize: “The Announcement,” Mahmut Fazil Coskun, Turkey

Best Actress: Natalia Kudryashova “A Man Who Surprised Everyone,” Russia

Best Actor: Kais Nashif “Tel Aviv on Fire,” Israel

Best Screenplay: “Jinpa,” Pema Tseden, China

Best Short Film: “Kado,” Aditya Ahmad, Indonesia

LION OF THE FUTURE: “The Day I Lost My Shadow,” Soudade Kaadan, Syria

Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film:

Venice Classics

Best Documentary on Cinema:  “The Great Buster: A Celebration,” Peter Bogdanovich

Best Restored Film: “The Night of the Shooting Stars,” Paolo and Vittorio Taviani


Best Virtual Reality:
“Spheres,” Eliza McNitt

Best Virtual Reality Experience: “Buddy VR,” Chuck Chae

Best Virtual Reality Story: “Isle of the Dead,” Benjamin Nuel