Syrian director Soudade Kaadan took home the Armani Beauty Audience Award at the 79th Venice Film Festival for her movie Nezouh this weekend.
“Proud to announce for the second time, my second fiction feature film won in Venice and this time it is the audience @armanibeauty award,” Kaadan wrote, sharing the news on Instagram, alongside a picture of her holding the award standing next to actor Cate Blanchett, who received her second Venice Film Festival acting award for her performance as a predatory classical music conductor in Tár. Kaadan added, “Thanks for the fabulous cast and team for making our film Nezouh together.”
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Nezouh, which is a co-production between the UK, Syria, and France, means displacement or migration in Arabic and portrays the story of the dislocation of women against the backdrop of the Syrian conflict in Damascus. The movie stars Syrian actors Samer Al Masri and Kinda Alloush, along with industry neophytes Hala Zein and Nizar Alani.
Sponsored by Armani Beauty, the Audience Award, which completes its second year after its launch, honors the best film in the Orizzonti Extra section. The winner is selected based on the votes cast by viewers of the nine films in this category, which was introduced in 2021 as an extension of Orizzonti, a competitive category exclusive to the latest trends in world cinema. The Extra section showcases an assortment of works with no restrictions in terms of genre or target, provided they are over a time period of 60 minutes.
The festival, which concluded this weekend also awarded its highest award, the Golden Lion for best film to All the Beauty and Bloodshed, a documentary by American director Laura Poitras that sheds light on the US opioid crisis and photographer Nan Goldin’s campaign against the Sackler family, whose company created OxyContin.