Ferrara, who is based in Rome these days, will be handed the award honoring an artist’s original mark on contemporary cinema during a ceremony on Sept. 5 prior to the screening of his latest doc titled “Sportin’ Life.” The doc is described in a Venice statement as an “intimate and lush” look at his own life.
It’s Ferrara’s “world refracted through his art – music, filmmaking, his collaborators and inspirations … his partner Cristina Chiriac and their daughter Anna, their life in the eternal city, Roma… as the corona virus descends and paralyses the world,” the statement said.
“Sportin’ Life,” which is screening out-of-competition and runs 65 minutes, features turns by Ferrara, Willem Dafoe, Cristina Chiriac, Anna Ferrara, Paul Hipp and Joe Delia.
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera in the statement praised Ferrara for “his undeniable consistency and allegiance to his personal approach, inspired by the principles of independent cinema even when the director had the opportunity to work on more traditional productions.”
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“From his first low-budget films, influenced directly by the New York scene populated by immigrants, artists, musicians, cops and drug addicts, through his universally recognized masterpieces – ‘The King of New York’ (1990), “Bad Lieutenant” (1992) and ‘Body Snatchers’ (1994) – to his most recent works, increasingly introspective and autobiographical, Ferrara has brought to life a personal and exclusive universe,” it added.
“Sportin’ Life” is the sixth project to emerge from SELF, an international art project curated by the fashion brand Saint Laurent and its creative director, Anthony Vaccarello.
In addition to Ferrara, artists who have worked with SELF include Daido Moriyama, Vanessa Beecroft, Bret Easton Ellis, Gaspar Noe and Wong Kar Wai.
Ferrara’s “The Funeral,” starring Benicio Del Toro, Christopher Walken and Isabella Rossellini, won two awards at Venice in 1996. His “Mary,” starring Juliette Binoche, Forest Whitaker and Heather Graham, won four awards in Venice in 2005. Ferrara’s “4:44 Last Day on Earth” screened in Venice in 2012, as did his “Pasolini” in 2014, and also “Tommaso” last year, all starring Dafoe. More recently Ferrara’s “Siberia,” also starring Dafoe, screened at Berlin in February.
Previous recipients of Venice’s Glory to the Filmmaker Award nod include Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Sylvester Stallone, Spike Lee, Al Pacino, and Zhang Yimou.
The upcoming 77th edition of Venice is set to run Sept. 2-12 as a physical edition.