Review: ‘Eternals’ (2021), starring Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie and Lia McHugh

October 26, 2021

by Carla Hay

Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Don Lee (also known as Ma Dong-Seok), Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry and Barry Keoghan in “Eternals” (Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios)

“Eternals” (2021)

Directed by Chloé Zhao

Culture Representation: Taking place in various parts of the universe, the superhero action film “Eternals” features a racially diverse cast of characters (white, Asian, Latino and African American) portraying superheroes from outer space and human beings.

Culture Clash: The superheroes, who are known as Celestials, find out that their arch-enemy demon creatures, which are called Deviants, have not all been killed off and are back with a vengeance. 

Culture Audience: “Eternals” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but viewers should know in advance that “Eternals” is much slower-paced and has a less straightforward narrative than a typical MCU movie.

Kumail Nanjiani and a Deviant in “Eternals” (Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios)

“Eternals” has the expected thrilling action scenes, but the non-action scenes might be too quiet and introspective for some fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie suffers from too much timeline jumping. And there are some other problems with the film’s tone and pacing. However, the showdowns in the last third of the movie make up for the meandering story in the rest of “Eternals.” It’s a movie that tries to take a minimalist approach to a story that’s got maximalist content because it’s packed with characters and agendas.

If “Eternals” does not have the same consistently high-adrenaline pace that people have come to expect from MCU movies, that’s because “Eternals” is the first major studio movie (and fourth feature film) from Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao, who made a name for herself as a writer/director of quiet and introspective independent films (such 2020’s “Nomadland” and 2018’s “The Rider”) about wandering and/or restless “ordinary” people. These “slice of life” low-budget movies are quite different from the blockbuster superhero spectacle that has become the defining characteristic of MCU movies. Zhao co-wrote the “Eternals” screenplay with Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo and Kaz Firpo.

Sure, “Eternals” has big-budget visual effects, gorgeous cinematography and impressive production design, but the movie’s heart (under Zhao’s direction) remains in the artsy indie film culture of requiring viewers to think more about the psychology of the characters than about what’s shown on screen. There are many times in “Eternals” when what the characters do not say (and what they keep to themselves) can be as important as what they do say. “Eternals” is not a movie that spells things out easily for the audience.

However, with a large ensemble cast of characters that are based on Marvel Comics characters created by Jack Kirby, “Eternals” is disappointing in how these characters are introduced in such a jumbled way to movie audiences who might not be familiar with these characters. The movie’s title characters are Celestials: universe-wandering beings who look like humans but who actually have superhero powers, including the ability to fly, shoot lasers from their hands or eyes, and quickly heal from wounds.

Celestials, who can also live for centuries, are not immortal, but it’s rare for a Celestial to die. Celestials all share an energy source that can help them strengthen their superpowers. Celestials (just like humans) can feel emotions, have individual personalities, and make their own decisions. As such, Celestials can have varying degrees of personal connections to each other and to human beings.

Before the opening title sequence of “Eternals,” it’s explained that Celestials come from the planet Olympia and were created to combat gigantic demon-like creatures named Deviants on planet Earth. (There are many influences from Greek mythology in the “Eternals” story.) The Deviants can be as small as the size of an elephant or as large as the size of a dinosaur. The Celestials have been instructed by Arishem, their supreme being/prime Celestial, to only find and kill Deviants and not to interfere with any of Earth’s wars and crimes between any humans and other beings.

Over several centuries, the Celestials battled Deviants until it was believed that all of the Deviants were killed. With their goals seemingly accomplished, the Celestials went their separate ways. Most Celestials continued to live on Earth under the guise of being “normal” human beings. However, there would be no “Eternals” movie if things were that simple. To make a long story short: The Celestials find out that there are still more Deviants on Earth, and that Deviants might not be the only threat to the Celestials.

“Eternals” introduces for the first time in a live-action movie these 10 superhero Celestial/Eternal characters:

  • Sersi (played by Gemma Chan), who genuinely loves human beings overall and who works as a scientist at the Natural History Museum in London.
  • Ikaris (played by Richard Madden), who is serious-minded, ambitious and Sersi’s former love interest.
  • Ajak (played by Salma Hayek), who is the wise matriarchal leader of the group.
  • Thena (played by Angelina Jolie), who is a powerful warrior whose main weapons are supernatural swords, shields and tritons.
  • Druig (played by Barry Keoghan), who is an opinionated young rebel with the power to control minds.
  • Kingo (played by Kumail Nanjiani), who is a wisecracking jokester with an attraction to showbiz.
  • Phastos (played by Brian Tyree Henry), who is a master inventor and technopath with a sarcastic sense of humor and cautious nature.
  • Gilgamesh (played by Don Lee, also known as Ma Dong-Seok), who has extraordinary strength and a playful personality.
  • Makkari (played by Lauren Ridloff), who is described as “the fastest woman in the universe,” and she happens to be deaf.
  • Sprite (played by Lia McHugh), who is a shapeshifter but is frustrated that her real physical appearance of being a 12-year-old girl has not changed, even though she is centuries old.

If only these characters were introduced in “Eternals” in a way that would be easier to keep track of them and who they are. Some of the characters’ names aren’t even spoken right away, so viewers will be left wondering, “What is this character’s name? What is this character’s story?” Unless you’re a Marvel aficionado or someone who bothered to look up these characters before watching the movie, there will be some scenes in “Eternals” where you’ll be watching a bunch of people talking with no meaningful context of what their histories are with each other.

Because there are so many Celestial characters crammed into the movie, some of them inevitably get sidelined, or their personalities not given enough time to shine. For example, Thena barely says anything of substance, which seems like a waste of the talent of Oscar-winning Jolie. Thena has some standout fight scenes, but that’s about it. For reasons that are shown in the movie (but won’t be mentioned in this review because it’s spoiler information), Ajak is not in the movie as much as the “Eternals” trailers give the impression that she is. Gilgamesh gets the least amount of screen time out of the 10 Celestial superheroes in “Eternals.”

One of the biggest flaws of “Eternals” is that all the timeline jumping makes the movie look a bit unfocused. The movie goes back and forth from the present day to different past eras and locations. There’s one time jump scene that only lasts for a couple of minutes before it’s on to the next. At the same time, many of the conversations are slow-paced. It’s an odd mix.

The purpose of the zig-zagging between eras is to show what the Celestials looked like when they worked as a team in the past, compared to the present when they’ve become scattered in different places and leading different lives. Scenes take place in present-day London, Chicago or South Dakota, while the flashback scenes are in vastly different eras and places, such as Mesopotamia in 500 B.C.; Tenochtitlan in the year 1521; or Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. (History buffs will immediately know the significance of the years and locations of these flashbacks.) For the present-day scenes, “Eternals” also has a not-so-subtle environmentalist message about climate change that factors into a pivotal part of the story.

And there’s a lot of deconstructing of macho superhero personas in “Eternals.” Without giving away too much information, it’s enough to say that Ikaris has several scenes where he cries. He sheds tears more than any other character in the movie. Madden gives a heartfelt performance in “Eternals,” but it’s easy to predict that all this superhero crying in “Eternals” will get some mixed reactions from audiences.

And speaking of melodrama, “Eternals” has a soap-opera-like subplot of Ikaris and Sersi’s love saga. After centuries of being together (and even having a wedding ceremony in India’s Gupta Empire in 400 B.C., as seen in the movie), Ikaris broke Sersi’s heart when he abruptly left after the Celestials disbanded. In present-day London, Sersi has moved on to a new love: a human named Dane Whitman (played by Kit Harington), who is a teacher/co-worker at the Natural History Museum.

In an early scene in the movie, Dane asks Sersi why she won’t move in with him. She plays coy. Dane also tries to guess what’s so different about Sersi, based on clues and hints that he’s been getting from Sprite, the Celestial who hangs out the most with Sersi. Sersi and Sprite have almost like a older sister/younger sister relationship. Dane incorrectly guesses that Sersi is some kind of wizard. The movie shows whether or not Sersi will tell Dane about her true identity.

Meanwhile, Ikaris comes back into Sersi’s life. Can you say “love triangle”? Except, not really, because Dane is not in most of this movie. Dane’s biggest scenes are at the beginning and at the end of “Eternals.” Instead, the big romance angle in the story is all about making viewers wonder if Sersi and Ikaris will get back together as a couple. Expect to see Ikaris and Sersi give each other predictable longing glances, or their hands deliberately touch in certain scenes. The problem is that Madden and Chan don’t have much believable chemistry as former lovers who are supposed to still be hot for each other.

The only other Celestial who’s shown having a love life in “Eternals” is Phastos, who is openly gay and is married to a loving and supporting human husband named Ben (played by Haaz Sleiman), whose occupation is never mentioned in the film. Phastos (or “Phil” as he calls himself in his domesticated Earthly life) and Ben have a precocious and energetic 10-year-old son named Jack (played by Esai Daniel Cross), who is the reason why protective dad Phastos is very reluctant to go back to any Celestial duties. Ben knows about Phastos’ true identity as a Celestial. As for the much-hyped “first MCU superhero gay kiss,” it’s very tame. It’s in a scene where Ben and Phastos kiss each other goodbye, as Phastos temporarily leaves home to go with the Celestials to save the world again, as you do if you’re a superhero.

Speaking of being a superhero, “Eternals” has some confusing scenes about Celestial superpower strength. For example, in more than one scene, Celestials can be seen healing themselves and each other when they sustain serious bloody injuries in a fight. However, there’s a scene in the movie where one of the Celestials is able to knock out another Celestial unconscious with one blow from a rock to a head. You’d think that the Celestial who was hit could recover and regain consciousness quickly, based on the Celestial superpowers, but that’s not what happens.

“Eternals” has a serious tone overall, but the movie does attempt to have some comic relief, mainly through the characters of Kingo and Phastos. Sprite can be a bit of a moody brat, so her cynical attitude toward life is occasionally mined for laughs. Druig and Makkari are romantically attracted to each other and have some cute flirtatious banter. However, some of the movie’s comedy seems forced and something out of a TV sitcom.

There’s a somewhat annoying subplot about Kingo being a Bollywood star and insisting on making a “documentary” (which is actually just Kingo’s one-camera vanity project) about the Celestials’ exploits when this superhero group gets back together. Tagging along for the ride is Kingo’s valet named Karun (played by Harish Patel), who is nothing more than a buffoon character posing as a Bollywood director. “Eternals” also has lots of references to social media and pop culture that will not age well over the years.

With all that being said, “Eternals” does deliver some exciting action sequences and meaningful character development, especially in the last 50 minutes of this 157-minute movie. There are some visually stunning outdoor scenes, which have become part of Zhao’s signature style in her films. Just expect to sit through a lot of dialogue that can be dull and somewhat trite before getting to the best parts of “Eternals.” The movie’s mid-credits scene (which has the MCU debut of two buddy characters, of which one is portrayed by a former teen idol) and end-credits scene (which has Dane by himself and showing why he told Sersi earlier that his family history is “complicated”) should have viewers anticipating the next movie in the “Eternals” saga.

Marvel Studios will release “Eternals” in U.S. cinemas on November 5, 2021.

Review: ‘Nomadland,’ starring Frances McDormand

December 4, 2020

by Carla Hay

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” (Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

“Nomadland”

Directed by Chloé Zhao

Culture Representation: Taking place in 2012 and 2013 in various parts of the United States (mainly the West Coast and Midwest), the dramatic film “Nomadland” features an almost all-white cast of characters (with a few African Americans and Latinos) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A widow, who lives in her van by choice and makes a living doing temporary jobs, leads a nomadic existence and is unapologetic about this lifestyle choice to people who don’t approve.

Culture Audience: “Nomadland” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in well-acted realistic character studies about people who live on the fringes of society and are often overlooked by mainstream media.

Frances McDormand and David Strathairn in “Nomadland” (Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

“Nomadland” is a great American film that represents people who haven’t achieved the great American Dream in the traditional sense but are surviving on their own terms. It’s a drama about a culture that’s rarely seen in a narrative film: People who are not completely homeless but who choose to live in a motor vehicle and travel to find work, wherever and whenever they can. They don’t want anyone’s pity. They just want the respect to live their lives non-traditionally.

And the fact that this story centers on a middle-aged widow with no children makes it even more unusual but no less impactful, because she doesn’t fit the usual profile of nomadic people who get movies made about them. She’s an American refugee in her own country, because the city that she lived and worked in for several years was economically devastated and shut down, so she’s been forced to find a life elsewhere as a nomad.

Written, directed and edited by Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” is based on Jessica Bruder’s 2017 non-fiction book “Nomadland: Surviving in America in the 21st Century.” As such, most of the film’s cast members are real-life nomads (whose last names are not revealed in the cast credits), which give the movie a level of authenticity that can’t be duplicated by a cast filled with professional actors. Zhao’s masterful cinematic version of the story also makes the sweeping landscapes of the open road as of much a character as the story’s protagonist: Fern (played by Frances McDormand), a no-nonsense, self-sufficient widow who is still recovering from the grief of losing her husband after 32 years of marriage.

Fern used to live in the very small town of Empire, Nevada, which had a population of 217 people in the 2010 census. In real life, Empire suffered from an irrecoverable loss on January 23, 2011, when the United States Gypsum mining plant (the rural town’s main employer) shut down, due to reduced demand for sheetrock. By July 2011, Empire’s zip code (89405) was discontinued. This information is stated in the movie’s prologue.

Fern’s husband died around the same time that Empire became a ghost town. And so, with nothing to keep her in Empire, this widow has been on her own, living in her van, and trying to find enough work to keep herself financially afloat. The movie’s story takes place over the course of about 12 to 14 months, beginning during the year-end holiday season in 2012. Fern reports to work at an Amazon warehouse, where she has signed on for temporary work as a package processor, since the company has increased demand for workers during this holiday season.

Fern is friendly but emotionally elusive. She’s good at making small talk and bonding with passing acquaintances, but she’s closed-off when it comes to revealing her true inner feelings and making long-lasting close friendships. Throughout the film, there are glimpses of her emotional turmoil, but she never lets anything get her too depressed. She can’t afford to be depressed. She has to keep going for survival.

Fern is not old enough to retire, but she’s too old to be considered a viable candidate for a lot of jobs that require a lot of strenuous physical activity. Even if Fern were at retirement age, she can’t afford to retire. She and her husband had no children (apparently by choice, since Fern expresses no regrets about not having kids) and whatever savings they might have had is long gone.

She’s too proud to ask for financial assistance in most situations. If she does ask to borrow money from someone she knows (which happens a few times in the movie), it’s only as a last resort. And it’s clear that she finds it very difficult to ask anyone for money, because it makes her feel worthless. She always considers the money that she asks for to be a loan, not a gift or a handout. She promises to pay back the money, and you get the feeling that she means it. 

The closest thing that Fern has to a best friend is a woman about 10 years older than she is named Linda May (played by a real-life nomad named Linda May), who helped Fern get the temporary job at Amazon. After this temp job is completed, Fern decides she kind of likes the city and goes to an employment agency to try to find work so she can stay longer in the city.

The female agency employee who assists Fern warns her that there’s almost no additional work in the area this time of year. The agency employee is correct. Fern can’t find another job there, so she has to move on to a place where she can find work. And the work that she finds is usually temporary. This a pattern that repeats itself for much of the story, because people without a permanent address have a much harder time finding a permanent job.

“Nomadland” was filmed in Nevada, South Dakota, Nebraska, Arizona and California. None of the cities where Fern ends up is ever named, because the names of the cities don’t really matter. This movie is all about Fern’s experiences and the people she meets along the way in this particular time period in her life. Because the movie begins and ends during the winter months, there are multiple scenes where Fern has to deal with sleeping in her van during freezing weather.

A few times, some people who come across Fern express concern that she’s living in a van all by herself in freezing temperatures. Having a portable heater doesn’t really help and can sometimes be dangerous in an enclosed automobile, if the heater is kept on for a long period of time. Sometimes Fern stays at camping sites and RV parks (which usually cost money), while other times, she sleeps somewhere for free in a parking lot or out in a deserted area where she thinks she won’t be bothered. She refuses to stay at homeless shelters.

Linda May tells Fern about a nomad community gathering called Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR), led by a charismatic man named Bob Wells (who portrays himself), who can best be described as someone who looks like a flannel-wearing Santa Claus. RTR is based in Quartzsite, Arizona, and it’s a support system geared mainly to nomads who are in desperate need of help. Fern looks at an online video of Bob speaking (she has her phone for Internet access) and politely tells Linda May that she’s not interested in going to the next RTR gathering.

But at some point, Fern changes her mind when she’s running very low on money. And she finds that RTR is a community of nomads who are a lot like she is: Over the age of 60, barely getting by financially, but loving life on the road. In the first meeting that she experiences with Bob, he talks about how people in their age group are a lot like work horses that are considered too old to be useful and are put out to pasture. Bob tells them to think of RTR as being like work horses who look out for each other. Fern likes what she hears, so she decides to stay.

Later, when Fern has a one-on-one meeting with Bob, he tells her: “I think you’ve come to the right place to find an answer. I think communing with nature and a real, true community and tribe will make all the difference for you.” Fern replies, “I hope so.”

The RTR gathering is almost like an informal seminar, because it includes instructions and advice on living in a vehicle. It also has swap meets for many of the attendees to trade or give away items. It’s at one of the swap meets that Fern meets Dave (played by David Strathairn), a tall and bearded gentleman who’s around her age or slightly older, and he seems as if he’s immediately attracted to Fern. She plays it cool though, and they talk about their can openers before going their separate ways.

Later, Fern and Dave see each other again at a social gathering and he asks her to dance. She warms up to him a little and he basically tells her that he’s available, but she still gives him the impression that she’s not interested in dating him. Although Fern doesn’t say it out loud, it’s pretty obvious that she’s still grieving over the loss of her husband, whom she speaks fondly of later in the story when she opens up to someone about him.

Although Fern considers her to be independent, there are scenes in the movie where she still shows some naïveté about basic things when it comes to looking out for her safety as a road traveler. For example, Fern’s tendency to be a loner means that she often parks in areas that are too isolated and would be disastrous if she needed help from someone nearby. When she sleeps in her car during the cold winter months, she has a thick blanket and layered clothing, but she doesn’t think of ways to better protect herself from getting sick or frost-bitten.

And she’s not as skilled in auto mechanics as she should be. One day, Fern finds that her parked car has a flat tire, but she does not have a spare tire. But even if she did, Fern doesn’t know how to change a tire. Luckily, another nomad whom she knows named Swankie (played by real-life nomad named Charlene Swankie) is parked nearby and can help her.

Fern asks Swankie to drive her to the nearest gas station to get help and a spare tire. Swankie mildly scolds Fern and tells her that it’s time for her to learn how to change a tire and that she should always have a spare tire. During a heart-to-heart conversation in Ruth’s van, Swankie tells her that she will soon turn 75, she was diagnosed with brain cancer, and she now has only seven or eight months to live. Swankie doesn’t want to go through cancer treatment. Instead, she wants to spend her last days on Earth doing things she always wanted to do, like go to Alaska.

Swankie tells Fern that she learned this lesson after she watch a close friend die from a terminal illness and how this friend had a boat parked at his home that he never got to use because he kept putting it off until he had more time. Swankie also opens up about the suicidal thoughts that she had when she found out that she had cancer. Swankie says she even read Jack Kevorkian’s controversial “Final Exit” book to get ideas, but she changed her mind about killing herself because she didn’t want to leave behind her two dogs. In turn, Fern reveals some of the feelings that she went through when her husband was dying of a terminal illness. It’s one of the best scenes in the movie.

During the course of the film, Fern takes different temporary jobs, including working as a camp host. She encounters Dave (who sometimes works as a fossil guide) at different times during the story and they become closer. She ends up meeting Dave’s musician son James (Tay Strathairn) and other members of Dave’s family. Fern also spends time with her married sister, who’s led a much more traditional and conservative life than Fern has. Viewers will get more insight into Fern’s family background during this crucial scene.

People should not expect a typical road-trip movie in “Nomadland.” Most road-trip movies want to stuff the plot with a lot of mishaps or high-octane action, but “Nomad” often focuses on the mundane but realistic everyday activities of Fern at work and in her free time. She takes pleasure in simple things, as demonstrated in a scene where Fern and Linda May pretend they’re at a spa and put tissues on their faces and cucumbers over their eyes.

And it’s a very intimate look at Fern life—maybe too intimate for some viewers, because there’s a scene of her urinating out in the desert and a scene of her defecating in a bucket in her van. (For people easily offended by bodily functions depicted on screen, you’ve been warned.) The defecation scene is not so graphic that viewers see the end results, but it’s explicit enough where people might find out more about Fern’s intestinal activities than they care to know. There’s also a full-frontal nude scene of Fern floating on water as she takes a relaxing dip in a lake.

These scenes are meant to give this drama a documentary feel, especially when Fern is alone. McDormand is so talented that she doesn’t need to speak in any solitary scenes, because her facial expressions say a lot more than what many scripted lines would say. The cinematography from Joshua James Richards gives emotional resonance to the seasons and terrain that Fern experiences during her journey. It’s during the freezing winter months that viewers get the most impactful sense of Fern’s isolation, because even she doesn’t know if she’s putting herself in a situation where she could wake up with frostbite or her van too buried in snow to drive.

But what “Nomadland” captures best is the reality that for nomads like Fern, the only thing constant is change. People come and go out of each other’s lives. Home means not having a building as a permanent place to live. There’s a pivotal scene in the movie were Fern has to make a choice to live a comfortable and more stable life in a regular house or keep living her more difficult and unstable life on the road. The choice she makes tells viewers what they need to know about what Fern’s definition of “freedom” is and what she might or might not be willing to give up to have that freedom.

Searchlight Pictures released “Nomadland” in select U.S. virtual cinemas on December 4, 2020. The movie is set for a release in select IMAX theaters in the U.S. on January 29, 2021. “Nomadland” goes into wider release in U.S. cinemas and debuts on Hulu on February 19, 2021.

2020 Venice International Film Festival: ‘Nomadland’ wins the Golden Lion top prize

September 12, 2020

 
Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” (Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

“Nomadland,” director Chloé Zhao’s dramatic film about American drifters, was awarded the Golden Lion (the top prize) at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy. “Nomadland” stars Frances McDormand, and several real-life American nomads. Searchlights Pictures will release “Nomadland” on December 4, 2020. The movie has gotten rave reviews from critics and is expected to be a big contender at the 2021 Academy Awards. The 77th annual Venice International Film Festival took place from September 2 to September 12, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of the Venice International Film Festival had mostly online virtual screenings and events.

“Nomadland” is the first movie directed by a woman to win the festival’s Golden Lion prize since Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” in 2010, and the the first movie directed by a woman of color to win the prize since Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding” in 2001. For “Nomadland,” Zhao also became the first woman of color to be nominated in the festival’s award category of Best Director.

The Grand Jury Prize (second place) went to “New Order,” a dystopian thriller film directed by Michel Franco. Other winners at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival included Pierfrancesco Favino of “Padrenostro” for Best Actor; Vanessa Kirby of “Pieces of a Woman” for Best Actress; and “Wife of a Spy” helmer Kiyoshi Kurosawa for Best Director.

Here is the complete list of winners for the 2020 Venice International Film Festival:

IN COMPETITION

Golden Lion: “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao

Grand Jury Prize: “New Order,” Michel Franco

Silver Lion for Best Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, “Wife of a Spy”

Best Actress: Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

Best Actor: Pierfrancesco Favino, “Padrenostro”

Best Screenplay: “The Disciple,” Chaitanya Tamhane

Special Jury Prize: “Dear Comrades,” Andrei Konchalovsky

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Rouhollah Zamani, “Sun Children”

HORIZONS

Best Film: “The Wasteland,” Ahmad Bahrami

Best Director: “Genus Pan,” Lav Diaz

Special Jury Prize: “Listen,” Ana Rocha de Sousa

Best Actress: Khansa Batma, “Zanka Contact”

Best Actor: Yahya Mahayni, “The Man Who Sold His Skin”

Best Screenplay: “I Predatori,” Pietro Castellitto

Best Short Film: “Entre tú y milagros,” Mariana Safron


LION OF THE FUTURE

Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut film: “Listen,” Ana Rocha de Sousa

VIRTUAL REALITY COMPETITION

Best VR: “The Hangman at Home: An Immersive Single User Experience,” Michelle and Uri Kranot

Best VR Experience:  “Finding Pandora X,” Kiira Benzing

Best VR Story: “Killing a Superstar,” Fan Fan

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