VENICE — Artist Julian Schnabel has bagged the Gucci Group Award dedicated to personalities outside the movie industry who have made an outstanding contribution to film for his pic, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” his third foray from painting into filmmaking.
Given in tandem with the Venice Film Festival, the Gucci honor was announced during a gala at the Palazzo Grassi overlooking the Grand Canal attended by Venice topper Marco Mueller, industryites and Venetian nobility.
Schnabel’s poignant depiction of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the former Elle Editor-in-Chief immobilized by “locked-in syndrome” after a stroke, won the director nod at Cannes.
He beat out Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn for “Control,” his biopic of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis; Korean novelist Lee Chang-Dong for drama “Secret Sunshine”; Piotr Uklanski for “Summer Love,” Poland’s first spaghetti Western; and Indian journo Bhavna Talwar for “Dharm,” which explores religious fanaticism in India.
Nominees for the prize’s second edition were selected by Mueller, Danny Huston, Michelle Yeoh, New York Times Style magazine editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi and Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli.
“It’s very difficult to know where visual arts and filmmaking begins,” noted Mueller, who praised “The Diving Bell” as “a very beautiful and moving film.”
Schnabel’s rock docu “Lou Reed’s Berlin” is unspooling in the Venice Horizons section.