Arsalan Amiri’s Zalava comes out on top in Venice’s International Film Critics’ Week

VENICE 2021 International Film Critics’ Week / Awards

Minor accolades were bestowed upon European (co)productions including Erasing Frank, They Carry Death and Detours

It’s a wrap for the 2021 Venice’s International Film Critics’ Week, an independent and parallel section organised by the National Union of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI) as an integral part of the Venice International Film Festival. This year’s edition saw the triumph of Arsalan Amiri’s debut feature Zalava, an Iranian film set in the titular small village in 1978, wherein villagers claim that a demon is among them. The movie received the International Film Critics’ Week Grand Prize along with the section’s dedicated FIPRESCI Award.

In their accompanying statement, jurors Claudio Cupellini, Vanja Kaludjercic and Sandrine Marques praised the director’s “fresh talent” along with his “playful cinematic language” and its clear call against “superstition and ignorance.”

Several minor accolades were bestowed upon other European productions and co-productions. In detail, the Verona film Club Award went to Gàbor Fabricius’ odyssey of “political psychiatry” Erasing Frank [+], the Award for Best Technical Contribution to Helena Girón and Samuel M. Delgado’s Spanish-Colombian co-production They Carry Death [+] and the brand-new special prize for women filmmakers under 40 (created in honour of late documentarian Valentina Pedicini) to Ekaterina Selenkina’s Detours [+]. Finally, Gianluca Matarrese’s The Last Chapter [+] won the Queer Lion Award.

Here is the list of the awards:

International Film Critics’ Week Grand Prize
Zalava – Arsalan Amiri (Iran)

Verona Film Club Award
Erasing Frank [+] – Gàbor Fabricius (Hungary)

Mario Serandrei – Hotel Saturnia Award for Best Technical Contribution
They Carry Death [+] – Helena Girón and Samuel M. Delgado (Spain/Colombia)

Short Films

Award for Best Short Film
Inchei – Federico Demattè (Italy)

Award for Best Director
Federico Demattè – Inchei

Best Technical Contribution Award
L’incanto – Chiara Caterina (Italy)