At the 2010 Venice Film Festival Sofia Coppola walked away a big winner thanks to her latest feature, Somewhere. It’s a self-reflexive drama about the unconventional relationship between a father and his daughter set against the backdrop of Hollywood excess. According to Reuters, Coppola’s film earned the Golden Lion award, a honor that received mixed reviews from critics back home and abroad.

The head of the festival jury was Quentin Tarantino, who was asked if the Golden Lion decision was based on any favoritism considering his friendship with the Coppola clan, an assumption he quickly shot down.

“I wasn’t going to let anything like that affect me at all. I was just going to literally respond to the film. There was no me steering any direction. Sofia doesn’t know these other people (on the jury) and she won it fair and square in a completely unanimous vote,” he said.

Other winners at Venice included, Vincent Gallo for Best Actor for his performance in Essential Killing, “where he plays a suspected Taliban fighter on the run from U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Europe.” He was an interesting choice considering he doesn’t really speak in the film. Ariane Labed won the Best Actress prize for the Greek father-daughter drama Attenberg, while Monte Hellman scooped a special career award.

The big shock of the week was Natalie Portman’s snub as Best Actress for her performance as a dancer gone mad in Black Swan. She received stellar reviews after the film’s world premiere so it’s kind of a shock that she didn’t win that honor.

The rest of the Festival winner’s included:

  • Silver Lion for Best Director: Álex de la Iglesia for the film Balada triste de trompeta (Spain, France)
  • Special Jury Prize: Essential Killing by Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland, Norway, Hungary, Ireland)
  • Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress: Mila Kunis in the film Black Swan by Darren Aronofsky (USA)
  • Osella for Best Cinematography: Mikhail Krichman for the film Ovsyanki (Silent Souls) by Aleksei Fedorchenko (Russia)
  • Osella for Best Screenplay: Álex de la Iglesia for the film Balada triste de trompeta by Álex de la Iglesia (Spain, France)


  • Orizzonti Award (full-length films): Verano de Goliat by Nicolás Pereda (Mexico, Canada)
  • Orizzonti Special Jury Prize (full-length films): The Forgotten Space by Nöel Burch and Allan Sekula (Netherlands, Austria)
  • Orizzonti Award (medium-length films): Tse (Out) by Roee Rosen (Israel)
  • Orizzonti Award (short films): Coming Attractions by Peter Tscherkassky (Austria)
  • Special Mention: Jean Gentil by Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas (Dominican Republic, Mexico, Germany)
  • The Jury, after viewing the 21 European short films in the Orizzonti competition, has decided the Venice Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards: The External World by David Oreilly (Germany)


  • Controcampo Italiano Award: 20 sigarette by Aureliano Amadei (Italy)
  • Special Mention: Vinicio Marchioni in the film 20 sigarette
  • LION OF THE FUTURE – “LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM: Cogunluk (Majority) by SerenYüce(Turkey) – Giornate degli Autori – Venice Days as well as a prize of 100,000 USD donated by Filmauro di Aurelio e Luigi De Laurentiis to be divided equally between director and producer


  • Avatar by James Cameron (USA, UK)
  • How to Train Your Dragon by Chris Sanders and Dean Deblois (USA)


  • Mani Ratnam
  • Premio L’Oréal Paris per il Cinema: Vittoria Puccini

Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

  • John Woo

What do you think of the winner’s at the 2010 Venice Film Festival?

Additional Source: LaBiennale