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The Venice Film Festival 2021 | Highlights From The Golden Lion Awards

The Venice Film Festival was a raging success this year. Hosted in Venice, Italy, The Golden Lion Award shined like the stars.

One of the most awaited events of the seventh art, the 2021 Venice Film Festival, has recently commenced for its 78th edition which is already started in full swing. 

Dakota Johnson poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film ‘The Lost Daughter’ during the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Sep, 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Just when we thought we had to bid farewell to the floating city, after witnessing Dolce & Gabbana’s fashion extravaganza, we are transported back to the mesmerising city of dreams, once more.

After more than a year of virtual red carpets and socially distanced events, celebrities are once again taking part in the red carpet and marking the resumption of the in-person ceremony.

Highlighted by their arrival on water taxis’ the city of canals made way for its annual traditional event. This year the Golden Lion Awards graced us with her fiery presence and BOY did the actors and actresses of Hollywood bring it! 

The red carpet was hot and heavy and packed with celebrities and nominees. The stars stepped off their gondolas dripping in luxury brands from Chanel, Gucci to Versace.

From rising actresses like Zendaya and Anya Taylor-Joy to red carpet regulars Penélope Cruz and Kate Hudson, The festival ran from 1- 11 September 2021 and delivered an onslaught of breakout fashion and beauty moments.

Penélope Cruz arrived at the premiere of her film ‘Madres Paralelas’ in a Chanel Haute Couture gown, while Brazilian model Adriana Lima opted for a sexy red sequined dress from Etro. 

Also in attendance, actress Cynthia Erivo continued her reign of this year’s red carpets in a stunning Atelier Versace creation.

Other notable moments from the festival include Kristen Stewart’s Chanel Fall/Winter 2021 Haute Couture ensemble at the debut of her highly anticipated Princess Diana biopic, ‘Spencer’, as well as the star-studded premiere of Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya’s new sci-fi film ‘Dune’

Javier Bardem, from left, Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgard, Chang Chen, Oscar Isaac, Sharon Duncan Brewster, Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Denis Villeneuve, Dave Bautista and Josh Brolin pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film ‘Dune’ during the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Sep, 3, 2021. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver’s new fashion film ‘House of Gucci’ will also make its debut later in the week.

This Years Venice Film Festival Was Different

After going virtual last year, the Toronto International Film Festival is welcoming back movie lovers for in-person premieres and screenings of many of 2021’s most anticipated films. 

Like the recently-concluded Venice and Telluride festivals, though, this edition comes with strict coronavirus protocols in place, including proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test as well as mandatory masking for all attendees.

A total of 59 countries are represented at the festival this year, with 21 entries in the main competition for the Golden Lion. 

According to DW, Director, Alberto Barbera praised the high quality of the works in the program, saying it felt; “as if the pandemic had stimulated everyone’s creativity.” 

Last year, eight female directors presented their films in the competition; in 2021 there will be only five.

The 21 films competing for the Golden Lion, include new work on Lady Di, “Spencer.” However, Ridley Scott’s “Last Duel” will premiere outside the competition.

Actresses and house ambassadors, Kristen Stewart and Penélope Cruz honoured the 78th edition of the Venice International Film Festival with this introduction video snippet:

Paving The Way For A New Genre At The Venice Film Festival

A new genre is making itself felt in Venice this year – the docu-fiction. 

Blending documentary with fiction, the films take real-life stories and non-actors, then insert fictional elements or storylines. 

This “new technique” has become the driving force behind several independent films at the festival.

Last years film festival winner, ‘Nomads land’ put the spotlight on genre-blending, now experimental filmmakers are trying it out for size.

Nearly all the films are experimenting with this distinction between fact and fiction, where one informs the other or be it in different ways. 

The new evolving themes pay witness to the vitality and life that comes when you mix reality and fiction. 

The new genre includes a documentary type story that slowly evolves into a written script. This, according to co-director Alessandro Cassigoli, is supposed to eliminate all questions of whether the movie is real or not.

The Film Festival Moment That Went Viral 

Everyone is talking about THIS moment shared between Jessica Chastain and her co-star Oscar Isaacs.

Multi-talented actress Jessica Chastain, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role in ‘The Help’, is now starring in the HBO drama: ‘Scenes From A Marriage’. She graced her presence with Oscar Isaacs on the red carpet.

However, things turned a bit awkward during their red carpet photoshoot session. The look Oscar Isaacs gave his fellow co-star soon turned viral as sparks flew over how romantically the star looked at her, even though the two are happily married…to other people!

In an interview with TODAY, the star explained the seemingly awkward, yet romantic gesture:

“It was so funny. He tried to give me a peck on the elbow but at the same time I went in to give him a hug, so all of a sudden his face ended up in my armpit. All the photographers looked at us and started laughing. But honestly, we have all been locked up in our houses for so long. When this video went viral, I really felt like people just needed to see people TOUCH and hold each other” – Jessica Chastain

Celebrities Who Have Owned The Red Carpet So Far

With anticipated movies and A-listers gathering from around the world, Venice Film Festival glitteringly kicked off with a bang.

As it has always been, celebrities who are dressed in fantastic looks that you can never get your eyes off, are lighting up the whole festival.

Besides highly anticipated films, what we also love is the fascinating fashion showcase at photocalls and premieres, as international stars disembark from water taxis in glamorous couture gowns and extravagant high jewellery. 

Stars like Kristen Stewart together with Hailee Steinfeld, Helen Mirren, Timothée Chalamet and Jessica Chastain are all in attendance at the big event.

Two real Spencers were present too: Lady Amelia Spencer and Lady Eliza Spencer, twin nieces of the late Princess Diana, who made their red carpet debut at the Venice Film Festival in head-to-toe Alberta Ferretti.

We also adored this elegant lace number from Valentino’s 2022 resort collection by creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, which Hudson chose for the screening of ‘Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon‘.

The belle of Venice, Bianca Balti, made her debut in a stunning golden gown, fit for a queen.

Fashion highlights like Zendaya, who has already created numerous iconic moments on red-carpet events, looks stunning in Balmain gown and Bvlgari jewellery.

The 25-year-old actress flaunted her flawless figure in a sexy nude Balmain high-slit dress along with Christian Louboutin pumps in the same tone.

Zendaya’s red carpet companion was American heartthrob Timothée Chalamet, who looked dapper in an all-black ensemble by Haider Ackermann with chic Cartier jewellery.

Dakota Johnson also dazzled ahead of the premiere of ‘The Lost Daughter‘ in a sequinned V-neck column gown featuring rosaline crystal details on top of a nude tulle underlay from Gucci.

Anna Taylor-Joy, on the other hand, fits perfectly in every of her sophisticated colour palette look. ‘The Queen’s Gambit‘ star also turned heads at the premiere in a shocking pink satin silk dress by Dior Haute Couture, topped off with a matching embroidered beret and pumps. 

The Golden Lion Awards Goes Too…

The ‘TV Personality of the Year’ award was given to Turkish actor, Can Yaman at the Venice Film Festival 2021. The star sported a black suit by Dolce & Gabbana and competed among several international stars with top-notch projects.

This included: Toni Servillo, Silvio Orlando, Tim Roth, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dominique Sanda, Alba Rohrwacher, Maya Sansa, Fabrizio Ferracane and Kate Hudson.

However, The Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival is awarded to one film among contenders from across the globe. This year the Golden Lion went to…

Drum roll, please!

Jamie Lee Curtis 

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 01: Bianca Balti attends the red carpet of the movie “Madres Paralelas” during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 01, 2021 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

She accepted her coveted award on Wednesday evening (September 8). As Per ‘Just Jared‘, the actress received the Golden Lion Honorary Award, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious and respected awards in the cinema business. The award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the film industry.

The renowned actress, 62, who reprises her legendary role as Laurie Strode in the horror thriller, ‘Halloween Kills’, dazzled us in a red leopard print gown. 

As soon as her name echoed through the audience, the winning actress jumped from her seat, pulled off her high heels and skipped to the stage to begin her speech.

The audience went still as she posed – before emotionally receiving the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the film festival. The decision was made by the Biennale di Venezia’s board of directors and the festival’s director, Alberto Barbera.

“I am incredibly humbled to be honoured in this way by the Venice International Film Festival. It seems impossible to me that I’ve been in this industry long enough to be receiving Lifetime Achievement recognition, and to have it happen now, with Halloween Kills, is particularly meaningful to me.”

Jaime Lee Curtis

Oh, what a night! Thank you, Venice for hosting yet another phenomenal showcase this year.

Click to see the 21 films that competed for the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion Awards here.

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