Essential Killing: Film Wins 3 awards at Venice Film Festival

September 12, 2010 – “Essential Killing”, a Jeremy Thomas presentation directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, has won three awards at last night’s ceremony in  Venice, taking home the Special Jury Prize, Best Actor (Vincent Gallo), and the Cinemavveniere Award for Best Film in Competition (youth jury).

“Essential Killing” received both the Best Actor and Special Jury Prizes. Traditionally at Venice, Best Actor is not twinned with any other  major awards for the same film. This year’s jury, headed by Quentin Tarantino, was forced to ask Festival head Marco Mueller to break the rules. It is said  that Tarantino particularly argued to recognize the film, and he led a standing ovation from the jury as Skolimowski accepted the Special Jury Prize.

Centring on an Afghani political prisoner (Gallo) who escapes from a secret detention centre into a vast snowy woodland in Eastern Europe, “Essential Killing” achieved an uncanny prescience earlier this week when the existence of CIA black sites in Poland were acknowledged by the Polish government.

Gallo did not attend to accept  his Best Actor award. Taking the stage on his behalf, Skolimowski entreated Gallo to take courage and reveal himself in the audience, leading a chant of “Vin-cent”.

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