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‘The Master’ Wins Big at the Venice Film Festival

The Master Wins Big at Venice
Weinstein Co.

How exactly can a film be too good for a film festival? This is the odd case for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s ‘The Master,’ which took home two major prizes at this year’s Venice Film Festival and would’ve taken home three if the rules allowed it to do so.

This year’s jury (which was headed by filmmaker Michael Mann) was prepared to award the eagerly anticipated drama the Golden Lion (Best Picture), the Silver Lion (Best director) and Volpi Cup (Best Actor, which would have been split between stars Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman). However, a last minute re-read of the festival’s odd jury rules revealed that a single film is not allowed to win more than two major awards, sending the jury back to the drawing board for what the Hollywood Reporter describes as “heated deliberations.”

Ultimately, they reached a compromise. ‘The Master’ would keep the Silver Lion and the Volpi Cup, but the Golden Lion would go to Kim-Ki Duk’s ‘Pieta,’ a Korean drama about a debt collector. For what it’s worth, ‘The Master’ also won the FIPRESCI award, an honor decided by a team of international critics. A full list of the year’s winners can be found below.

This kind of controversy/weirdness is a common occurrence at the Venice Film Festival, which is the oldest festival of its kind and has its fair share of odd and antiquated rules. Past years have seen many odd decisions, with awards often spread across as many films as possible. At least now we know why!

Golden Lion (Best Picture)
“Pieta,” Kim-Ki Duk

Silver Lion (Best Director)
Paul Thomas Anderson – “The Master”

Volpi Cup – Best Actor
Joaquin Phoenix & Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”

Volpi Cup – Best Actress
Hadas Yaron – “Fill The Void”

Special Jury Award
Ulrich Seidl – “Paradise: Faith”

Mastroianni Award – Best Young Actor
Fabrizio Falcone – “Dormant Beauty,” “It Was The Son”

Best Screenplay
Olivier Assayas – “Something In The Air”

Technical Achievement
Daniele Cipri – “Il Stato E Figlio,”

Luigi De Laurentiis Award (Best First Feature)
“Kuf: Mold,” Ali Aydin

Orrizonti: Best Feature
“Three Sisters,” Wang Bing

Orrizonti: Jury Prize
“Tango Libre,” Frederic Fonteyne

FIPRESCI Award (Competition)
“The Master,” Paul Thomas Anderson

FIPRESCI Award (Orizzonti/Critics’ Week)
“The Interval,” Leonardo Di Constanzo

SIGNIS Award
“To the Wonder,” Terrence Malick

SIGNIS Award (Special Mention)
“Fill the Void,” Rama Burshtein

Audience Award (Critics’ Week)
“Eat Sleep Die,” Gabriela Pilcher

Label Europa Cinemas Award
“Crawl,” Herve Lasgouttes

Leoncino d’Oro Agiscuola Award
“Pieta,” Kim Ki-duk

Leoncino d’Oro Agiscuola Award (Cinema for UNICEF mention)
“It Was the Son,” Daniele Cipri

Pasinetti Award
“The Interval,” Leonardo Di Constanzo

Pasinetti Award (Documentary)
“The Human Cargo,” Daniele Vicari

Pasinetti Award (Best Actor)
Valerio Mastandrea, “Gli Equilibristi”

Pasinetti Award (Special)
“Clarisse,” Liliana Cavani

Brian Award
“Dormant Beauty,” Marco Bellocchio

Queer Lion Award
“The Weight,” Jeon Kyu-Hwan

Arca CinemaGiovani Award (Best Film of Venezia 69)
“The Fifth Season,” Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth

Arca CinemaGiovani Award (Best Italian Film)
“The Ideal City,” Luigi Lo Casco

Biografilm Lancia Award
“The Human Cargo,” Daniele Vicari; “Bad 25,” Spike Lee

CICT-UNESCO Enrico Fulchignoni Award
“The Interval,” Leonardo Di Costanzo

CICAE Award
“Wadjda,” Haifaa Al Mansour

CinemaAvvenire Award (Best Film of Venezia 69)
“Paradise: Faith,” Ulrich Seidl

CinemAvvenire Award (Diversity)
“Wadjda,” Haifaa Al Mansour

FEDIC Award
“The Interval,” Leonardo Di Costanzo

FEDIC Award (Special Mention)
“Bellas Mariposas,” Salvatore Mereu

Mimmo Rotella Foundation Award
“Something in the Air,” Olivier Assayas

Future Film Festival Digital Award
“Bad 25,” Spike Lee

Future Film Festival Digital Award (Special Mention)
“Spring Breakers,” Harmony Korine

P. Nazareno Taddei Award
“Pieta,” Kim Ki-duk

P. Nazareno Taddei Award (Special Mention)
“Thy Womb,” Brillante Mendoza

Magic Lantern Award
“The Interval,” Leonardo Di Costanzo

Open Award
“The Company You Keep,” Robert Redford

La Navicella-Venezia Cinema Award
“Thy Womb,” Brillante Mendoza

Lina Mangiacapre Award
“Queen of Montreuil,” Solveig Anspach

AIF-FORFILMFEST Award
“The Interval,” Leonardo Di Costanzo

Mouse d’Oro Award
“Pieta,” Kim Ki-duk

Mouse d’Argento Award
“Anton’s Right Here,” Lyubov Arkus

UK-Italy Creative Industries Award
“The Interval,” Leonardo Di Costanzo

Gillo Pontecorvo-Arcobaleno Latino Award
Laura Delli Colli

Christopher D. Smithers Foundation Award
“Low Tide,” Roberto Minervini

Interfilm Award
“Wadjda,” Haifaa Al Mansour

Giovani Giurati del Vittorio Veneto Film Festival Award
“The Company You Keep,” Robert Redford

Giovani Giurati del Vittorio Veneto Film Festival Award (Special Mention)
Toni Servillo

Primio Cinematografico Award
“Terramatta,” Costanza Quatriglio

Green Drop Award
“The Fifth Season,” Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth

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