Venice: Syrian Conflict Docu ‘The War Show’ Wins Venice Days,’Sami Blood’ Scores Label Europa

VENICE, Italy — “The War Show,” a video-diary/road movie chronicling the civil war in Syria, co-directed by Syria’s Obaidah Zytoon and Denmark’s Andreas Dalsgaard  has won the Venice Days Award, the top nod in Venice’s independently run section.

The prize is voted by a jury of twenty-eight young European buffs, presided this year by Canadian director Bruce LaBruce.

Also well-received by critics, “War Show” is an unconventional docu that provides a human perspective on the conflict through the personal prism of Zytoon, a former radio DJ in Damascus who left her country in 2013.

The Venice Days nod includes a cash prize of  Euros 20,000 ($22,000) to be split equally between the director(s) and the film’s international distributor who must agree to use the sum to promote the winning film internationally.

In separate news, “Sami Blood,” a first feature by Swedish-Sami director Amanda Kernell, has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film in Venice Days.

Set against the backdrop of 1930’s racism against the Sami people in the North of Sweden this striking drama is about a young Sami girl’s decision to sever ties with her Lapland heritage to become seemingly Swedish.

The jury made up of European exhibitors called “Sami Blood” and “emotionally charged look at the search for identity,” noting that “the film introduces audiences to the relatively unknown history of the Sami people in Northern Scandinavia.”

Both “The War Show” and “Sami Blood” are segueing from Venice to Toronto.

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