Amat Escalante Wins Silver Lion for Best Director at Venice

Mexican director Amat Escalante was the winner of the Silver Lion for Best Director for his fourth feature film La región salvaje / The Untamed at the 73rd edition of the Venice Film Festival, which concluded today. Escalante shared the Best Director prize with the Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky for his film Paradise.

In his acceptance speech he thanked his actors and crew, and he acknowledged filmmakers Carlos Reygadas, Gaspar Noé and producer Jaime Romandía. This important win for the Mexican director arrives exactly a year after the historic win by Latin American filmmakers at the Italian festival, when Lorenzo Vigas's From Afar became the first Latin American film to win the Golden Lion for Best Film, and Argentinean filmmaker Pablo Trapero won the Silver Lion for Best Director.

Other Latin American winners this year at Venice include Argentinean actor Óscar Martínez who won the Coppa Volpi Award for Best Actor for his performance in the Argentinean film El ciudadano ilustre / The Distinguished Citizen by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat. Noah Oppenheim was presented for the Best Screenplay for Jackie, directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín.

The Paraguayan filmmaker Marcelo Martinessi was presented with the Best Short Film award for La voz Perdida in the Orizzonti selection, while the Colombian film Los nadie / The Nobodies, the debut feature by Juan Sebastián Meza received the Audience Award in the Critics' Week competition.

The Argentinean film Kékszakállú by Gastón Solnicki, which premiered in the Orizzonti section, was the winner of the FIPRESCI for Best Film.