Russian "Silent Souls" awarded in Venice

Russian "Silent Souls" received the appreciation of the International Federation of Film Critics, while the same movie’s camera work received an "Osella".

Aleksey Fedorchenko's screen version of a novel by Denis Osokin, which was among the favorites to win the prestigious Venice Golden Lion, received the film critics’ prize on Saturday. Mikhail Krichman, the film's camera-man, was awarded Venice's "Ozella" prize for the best film photography.

"I've never doubted that Mikhail Krichman is one of the best camera-men in the world," director Fedorchenko said at the awards ceremony, accepting the award for Krichman.

"Silent Souls" is a mysterious love story as seen through the eyes of a widower, full of memories and deepest feelings. Two friends, representatives of a Northern people on the edge of extinction, set out on a road trip across the land to bury the widower's wife according to the rituals of their culture.

For this movie, the director managed to not only create a whole new mythology almost from scratch, but also to catch the viewer with its outright eroticism, rather uncommon for Russian cinematography.

And the Lion goes to…

Venice’s main prize, the Golden Lion, was awarded to US director Sofia Coppola for her film "Somewhere". The film depicts the loneliness faced by a Hollywood star, whose supposedly glamorous, but essentially shallow life, suddenly changes when his 11-year-old daughter comes to live with him. The movie's action primarily takes place in a hotel, as well as in Coppola's glorified "Lost in Translation".

The Silver Lion for best direction went to Spain’s Alex de la Iglesia and "A Sad Trumpet Ballad". The same picture received an award for best screenplay.

Jury head Quentin Tarantino also announced a "Special Lion" for cult director Monte Hellman, who brought his latest film, "Road to Nowhere", classified as a romantic noir thriller, to Venice.

The Volpi Cup for Best Actor went to Vincent Gallo, who played a terrorist in "Essential Killing» by Polish director Hedgehogs Skolimowski. The director himself received a special jury prize.

Actress Ariana Labed won the Volpi Cup as best actress for her role in "Attenberg", a Greek film by Athena Tsangari.

The Marcello Mastroianni Award for the best young actor/actress was given to Mila Kunis, who played Natalie Portman's opponent in Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan".

This year's Venice Film Festival marked its 67th year with 24 films entered in competition.