Venice Film Festival 2023: Poor Things’ Yorgos Lanthimos and Cailee Spaeny the big winners at Venice 2023

Yorgos Lanthimos might considered calling Venice Film Festival his stomping ground after another win over the weekend.

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The Venice International Film Festival seem to have a love affair with Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, as the director walked away over the weekend with the festival’s most prestigious award, the Gold Lion, for his latest film, ‘Poor Things.’ 

After scooping the award, it marks the third time at the festival that Lanthimos has been celebrated as a filmmaker, following his Golden Osella for Best Screenplay for ‘Alps’ (2011) and the Grand Jury Prize for his Oscar-nominated film, ‘The Favourite’ in 2018.

However, Yanthimos did not pick up the best director gong, with the jury instead awarding that honour to Mika Gustafson for their film ‘Paradise Is Burning,’ which follows the lives of two young adult sisters living with an absentee mother, but when social services call a meeting, Laura has to find someone to impersonate their mom or the girls will be taken into foster care and separated. 

Cailee Spaeny, the actress portraying the title character in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Priscilla’ earned the Best Actress award over Emma Stone, while Peter Sarsgaard earned the Best Actor for his role in ‘Memory’ opposite Jessica Chastain.

The jury also believes we should be keeping a close on Taiwanese filmmaker Lee Hong-Chi and his debut film ‘Love Is a Gun,’ swapping his time in front of the camera ‘Go Go Squid’ and ‘Tigertail’ to earn the Lion of the Future Award for a Debut Film.

The full list of winners at the 80th Venice International Film Festival

Cailee Spaeny poses with the Volpi Cup for Best Actress Award for ‘Priscilla’ at the winner's photocall at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 09, 2023 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)Cailee Spaeny poses with the Volpi Cup for Best Actress Award for ‘Priscilla’ at the winner's photocall at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 09, 2023 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Cailee Spaeny poses with the Volpi Cup for Best Actress Award for ‘Priscilla’ at the winner's photocall at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 09, 2023 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
  • Gold Lion: 'Poor Things' (Yorgos Lanthimos)
  • Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize: 'Evil Does Not Exist' (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  • Silver Lion for Best Director: Matteo Garrone, 'Io Capitano'
  • Special Jury Prize: 'Green Border' (Agnieszka Holland)
  • Best Screenplay: 'El Conde' (Guillermo Calderón, Pablo Larraín)
  • Best Actress: Cailee Spaeny, 'Priscilla'
  • Best Actor: Peter Sarsgaard, 'Memory'
  • Marcello Mastroianni Best Young Actor Award: Seydou Sarr, 'Io Capitano'
  • Orizzonti Best Film: 'Explanation for Everything' (Gábor Reisz)
  • Orizzonti Best Director: Mika Gustafson, 'Paradise Is Burning'
  • Orizzonti Special Jury Prize: 'Una Sterminata Domenica' (Alain Parroni)
  • Orizzonti Best Actress: Margarita Rosa de Francisco, 'El Paraiso'
  • Orizzonti Best Actor: Tergel Bold-Erdene, 'City of Wind'
  • Orizzonti Best Screenplay: 'El Paraiso' (Enrico Maria Artale)
  • Orizzonti Best Short Film: 'A Short Trip' (Erenik Beqiri)
  • Lion of the Future Award for a Debut Film: 'Love Is a Gun' (Lee Hong-Chi)
  • Orizzonti Extra Audience Award — 'Felicita' (Micaela Ramazzotti)
  • Venice Classics — Best Documentary: 'Thank You Very Much' (Alex Braverman)
  • Venice Classics — Best Restored Film: 'Moving' (Shinji Somai)
  • Venice Immersive Grand Prize: 'Songs for a Passerby' (Celine Daemen)
  • Venice Immersive Achievement Prize: 'Empereur' (Marion Burger, Ilan Cohen)
  • Venice Immersive Special Jury Prize: 'Flow' (Adriaan Lokman)

When will ‘Poor Things’ get a theatrical release?

The film is scheduled to be theatrically released by Searchlight Pictures in the United States on December 8, 2023, and in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2024.

When is the 81st Venice International Film Festival taking place?

The next iteration of the Venice International Film Festival is currently scheduled to begin on August 28 2024.