‘Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person’, ‘Through The Night’ & ‘Photophobia’ Scoop Giornate Degli Autori Awards At Venice

Canadian director Ariane Louis-Seize’s comedy-drama Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person has scooped the Director’s Award at the Venice Film Festival parallel section Giornate degli Autori.

The coming-of-age tale revolves around a teenage vampire Sasha, who is too sensitive to kill. When her concerned parents decide to cut off her blood supply, her life is in peril.

Fortunately, she crosses paths with Paul, a desolate teenager with suicidal tendencies who willingly offers his life to save hers. However, what begins as a mutual agreement soon evolves into a nocturnal journey to fulfil Paul’s final desires before the break of day.

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It was among 10 titles playing in the GdA competition this year.

The jury was composed of young European cinephiles from the 27 Times Cinema program, a joint initiative between the GdA, the European Parliament’s LUX Audience Award and Europa Cinemas.

It was presided over by Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues and coordinated by Karlovy Vary International Film Festival director Karel Och.

The Director’s Award is GdA’s top award and carries a cash prize of €20,000, to be split equally between the filmmaker and the film’s international distributor, to promote its circulation.

“This film deserves to be celebrated for its strong directorial vision and consistent style in its various aspects, such as editing, cinematography, acting and art department. It bravely addresses crucial themes such as depression, mental health, euthanasia and neurodiversity,” the jury said in a statement.

In other GdA prizes, the Audience Award went to  Delphine Girard’s Through The Night, with Tommaso Santambrogio coming in a close second with Oceans Are The Real Continents , followed by Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person.

The film, which builds on Girard’s Oscar-nominated short A Sister, explores sexual violence and was inspired by a real-life American emergency 911 call, in which a young woman stuck in a car with a man who had just assaulted her, pretended she was calling her sister as a way of asking for help.

The Label Europa Cinemas award went to  Ivan Ostrochovský and Pavol Pekarčík’s Out of Competition title Photophobia, a hybrid work following a young boy living in an underground station in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, as his family shelters from Russian missiles above ground.

The jury consisted of Europa Cinemas members, Gerardo de Vivo (Modernisssimo, Napoli, Italy); Lukas Berberich (Kino Usmev, Košice, Slovakia); Mira Staleva (Sofia Film Fest on the Road, Sofia, Bulgaria) and Priscilla Gessati (L’Entrepôt, Paris, France),

They said in a statement: “Photophobia is a very original and beautifully observed film set today in an underground Kharkiv metro station in the middle of the war in Ukraine. But this is no miserabilist cliched war story. We see the way human beings – and the children in particular – learn to create a new way of living.”

The Giornate degli Autori section was marking its 20th edition this year and ran August 30-September 9.

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