The Venice Film Festival’s independently run Critics’ Week has awarded its prize to “Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot” a sophisticated comedy by first-time Italo helmer Matteo Oleotto.
Two-hander set in Italy and Slovenia about a 40-year-old loser reawakened to life by his seemingly dumb 15-year-old nephew, who is an ace at shooting darts, is an Italo-Slovenian co-prod being sold internationally by Slingshotfilms.
Pic co-produced by Transmedia and Stargara has quickly become a Venice darling. It will be released in Italy by Tucker Films.
The prize voted by the audience is worth Euros 5,000 ($6,500), courtesy of Rome-based vintage film label RaroVideo, which is becoming very active on the U.S. market.
All Venice Critics’ Week entries are also eligible to compete — along with pics in Venice’s official selection — for the $100,000 Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the Future award for debut director.
The independently operated Venice Critics’ Week is run by Italy’s National Union of Film Critics, SNCCI.
In separate news, Gallic helmer Jean Denizot’s “The Good Life,” about a boy who has spent the last ten years on the run with his elder brother and father, who was denied custody of his children, won the Europa Cinemas Label for best European film in the fest’s Venice Days section.
Produced by Gaul’s Mezzanine films pic, which is also a first work, is being sold internationally by Germany’s The Match Factory.
The Europa Cinemas Label awarded in Venice complements the Labels awarded at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, Panorama in Berlin and at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. The nod, given by a jury of exhibitors, means “The Good Life” will get promotional coin from Europa Cinemas, which is the EU entity dedicated to suporting distribution of European art movies.
The main prizes of the Venice fest’s 70th edition will be announced during the closing ceremony on Saturday.