Venice Biennale 2023: The Winners

by paradoxig

The award ceremony of the 80th Venice International Film Festival, took place on Saturday September 9th in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema and was hosted by Caterina Murino. The VENICE IMMERSIVE Jury, chaired by Singing Chen and comprised of Pedro Harres and German Heller, after viewing the 28 projects in competition has decided to award:

Grand Prize of the Jury: Songs for a Passerby

Director: Celine Daemen
Production: Silbersee (Dominique Slegers, Romain Bischoff), Studio Nergens (Celine Daemen), VIA ZUID (Ton Driessen, Joost Segers), Muziekgebouw Productiehuis (Leonie Baars, Joost Heijthuijsen)
Synopsis: How does one relate to a world of things that are passing? Are we a part of it? Or are we just looking at it? And what about the body—is it something that we are or that we have? There is an ambivalence here that prompts the question: could this be the origin of all melancholy? In Songs for a Passerby you will autonomously walk through a musical dreamscape shown in a VR headset. You are following your own 3D mirror image and on the way you will pass by various scenes: a dying horse, a choir of murmuring people, two playing dogs. Songs for a Passerby is a meditative quest that allows you to step outside reality for a moment and look at yourself. As a puppeteer of your own body you will be entering a poetic space where the melancholy question arises: is this me passing by moments, or is it rather the moments passing by me?

Special Jury Prize: Flow

Director: Adriaan Lokman
Production: Valk Productions (Richard Valk, Eline van Hagen), Lucid Realities (Chloé Jarry, Alexandrine Stehelin) with the support of The Netherlands Film Fund, the Creative Industries Fund, PROCIREP-Société des Producteurs, ANGOA, Région Auvergne-Rhône- Alpes

Flow invites you to surrender to the whims of the wind on a seemingly ordinary day, concealing within its turbulence a captivating night in the life of a woman, portrayed through the dance of air currents. The interplay of scents, warmth, respiration, and both natural and artificial gusts of wind, influenced by invisible forces, renders the imperceptible tangible. These atmospheric movements unveil a sequence of events inviting us to follow the woman on her meanderings, plunging us into a realm crafted entirely from air.
However, as the storm subsides and the woman awakens from what transpires to have been a dream, her world is no longer the same.

Achievement Prize: Empereur

Director: Marion Burger, Ilan Cohen
Production: Atlas V (Oriane Hurard), Reynard Films (Katharina Weser), France Télévisions (Jeanne Marchalot)

Empereur is an interactive and narrative experience in virtual reality, which invites the user to travel inside the brain of a father, suffering from aphasia. It is the story of a man who’s lost his ability to speak, and of the daughter trying to communicate with him. It is the story of a woman, who wasn’t given the chance to know the man behind her father, now obscured by this illness. As she tries to piece together what remains of his language, she discovers that his relationship to words is connected to his memories. The memories of an entire lifetime… Step by step, clue after clue, we will dive alongside her into the inner world of this man, in an attempt to decipher the story he can no longer tell us. In a monochrome aesthetic, close to traditional animation, this personal story is told as a journey with surreal overtones, exploring aphasia as a faraway land. Empereur is a poetic experience of the loss of one’s faculties, of the passing of time, and of the bonds that, despite everything, remain.


Golden Lion – Poor Things, dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
Special Jury Prize – Green Border, dir. Agnieszka Holland
Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize – Evil Does Not Exist, dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Silver Lion for best director – Matteo Garrone, for Io Capitano
Volpi Cup for Best Actress – Cailee Spaeny, for Priscilla
Volpi Cup for Best Actor – Peter Sarsgaard, for Memory
Golden Osella for Best Screenplay – Pablo Larrain, Guillermo Calderon for El Conde
Marcello Mastroianni Award – Seydou Sarr, for Io Capitano


Best Film – Explanation For Everything, dir. Gabor Reisz
Best Director – Mika Gustafson, for Paradise Is Burning
Special Jury Prize – An Endless Sunday, dir. Alain Parroni
Best Actress – Margarita Rosa de Francesco, for El paraiso
Best Actor – Tergel Bold-Erdene, for City Of Wind
Best Screenplay – El paraiso, dir. Enrico Maria Artale
Best Short Film – A Short Trip, dir. Erenik Beqiri

Horizons Extra

Armani Beauty prize – Felicita, dir. Micaela Ramazzotti

Lion of the Future Luigi de Laurentis Award for a Debut film – Love Is A Gun, dir. Lee Hong-chi

Venice Classics

Best documentary on cinema – Thank You Very Much, dir. Alex Braverman
Best restored film – Moving, dir. Shinji Somai

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