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September 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A movie with a title that could not fit on most theater marquees has won the Venice Film Festival’s top Golden Lion award. Accepting the trophy Saturday night for A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Swedish director Roy Andersson said that it was "a great honor to receive this award at the Venice Film Festival in Italy, a country which has delivered so many masterpieces in film history." Russia’s Andrey Konchalovskiy won the festival’s best director award for The Postman’s White Nights, which was the festival’s closing-night film. America’s Joshua Oppenheimer received the Grand Jury Award for his documentary, The Look of Silence, a follow-up to his 2012 film The Act of Killing about the Indonesian genocide of the 1940s and ’50s. Another American, Adam Driver, took the festival’s Coppa Volpi Best Actor award for his performance in Hungry Hears, while the Best Actress award went to costar Alba Rohrwacher. Iranians Rakhshan Banietemad and Farid Mostafavi received the Best Screenplay award for their Ghesse-ha. Somewhat surprisingly the makers of Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, which opened the festival to ecstatic reviews, went home empty handed.