‘Engkwentro’ Wins Top Orizzonti Prize (New Horizons) & Luigi De Laurentiis (Lion of the Future) award in Venice Film Festival

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By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:50:00 09/13/2009

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino filmmaker Pepe Diokno’s “Engkwentro” won the top prize in the Orizzonti (New Horizons) section of the 66th Venice International Film Festival.

Diokno, who received the award in the Italian city, confirmed his triumph in a text message to the Inquirer Sunday morning.

He competed with 24 other films from Vietnam, Egypt, Peru, Russia, Tunisia, Italy, China, Germany and the United States, among others.

In 2008, another Filipino filmmaker, Lav Diaz, won the top prize for “Melancholia" in Orizzonti as well.

Apart from the top prize in the section earmarked for “new trends in cinema,” Diokno also won the Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the Future award, which comes with a cash prize of US$100,000.

The award is given to a debuting filmmaker and the cash prize, donated by distributor Filmauro, is to be divided between the director and the producer, according to the web site of the world’s oldest festival.

Congratulations to Pepe Diokno and to the cast and crew of Engkwentro! :D Below is the complete list of winners, copy-pasted from the Venice International Film Festival web site.

Official Awards

The 66th Venice International Film Festival ran 2nd to 12th September 2009.
The International Juries awarded the following prizes:
Venezia 66
- Golden Lion for best film: Lebanon by Samuel MAOZ (Israel, France, Germany)
- Silver Lion for best director: Shirin NESHAT for the film Zanan Bedone Mardan (Women Without Men) (Germany, Austria, France)
- Special Jury Prize: Soul Kitchen by Fatih AKIN (Germany)
- Coppa Volpi for Best Actor: Colin FIRTH in the film A Single Man by Tom FORD (USA)
- Coppa Volpi for Best Actress: Ksenia RAPPOPORT in the film La doppia ora  by Giuseppe CAPOTONDI (Italy)
- “Marcello Mastroianni” Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress: Jasmine TRINCAin the film Il grande sogno by Michele PLACIDO (Italy)
- "Osella" for Best Technical Contribution: Sylvie OLIVÉ for the film Mr. Nobody  by Jaco VAN DORMAEL (France)
- "Osella" for Best Screenplay: Todd SOLONDZ for the film Life during Wartime by Todd SOLONDZ (USA)
- Orizzonti Prize to Engkwentro by Pepe Diokno (Philippines)
- Orizzonti Prize for Best documentary to 1428 by DU Haibin (China)
- Special Mention to Aadmi ki aurat aur anya kahaniya (The Man’s Woman and Other Stories) by Amit Dutta (India)
Controcampo Italiano
Controcampo Italiano Prize to: Cosmonauta by Susanna NICCHIARELLI (Italy)
Kodak will offer to the awarded director 40,000 euros in negative film stock - 35 or 16mm, chosen by the winner - to shoot a new feature film.
- Special Mention: Negli occhi by Daniele ANZELLOTTI and Francesco DEL GROSSO (Italy)
Corto Cortissimo  (Prizes awarded on 10th September 2009)
- Corto Cortissimo Lion for Best Short Film to Eersgeborene (First Born) by Etienne Kallos (South Africa, USA)
- Venice Nomination to the European Film Awards 2009 to Sinner by Meni Philip (Israel)
- Special Mention to Felicità by Salomé Aleksi (Georgia)
“Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film
- Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film to Engkwentro by Pepe DIOKNO (Philippines) - ORIZZONTI
as well as a prize of 100,000 USD, donated by Filmauro, to be divided equally between director and producer

Persol 3-D Award for the Best 3-D Stereoscopic Film of the Year  (Prize awarded on 11th September 2009)

- Persol 3-D Award: The Hole  by Joe Dante (USA)