Essential Killing, a Jeremy Thomas presentation directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, has won an unprecedented three awards at last night's ceremony in Venice, taking home the Special Jury Prize, Best Actor (Vincent Gallo), and the Cinemavveniere Award for Best Film in Competition (youth jury).
In a rare coup, "Essential Killing" received both the Best Actor and Special Jury Prizes. Traditionally at Venice, Best Actor is not twinned with any other major awards for the same film. This year's jury, headed by Quentin Tarantino, was forced to ask Festival head Marco Mueller to break the rules. It is said that Tarantino particularly argued to recognize the film, and he led a standing ovation from the jury as Skolimowski accepted the Special Jury Prize.
Centring on an Afghani political prisoner (Gallo) who escapes from a secret detention centre into a vast snowy woodland in Eastern Europe, "Essential Killing" achieved an uncanny prescience earlier this week when the existence of CIA black sites in Poland were acknowledged by the Polish government.
Gallo, an enigmatic presence throughout the Festival, did not attend to accept his Best Actor award. Taking the stage on his behalf, Skolimowski entreated Gallo to take courage and reveal himself in the audience, leading a chant of
HanWay films is handling international sales and marketing.
"Essential Killing", a Jeremy Thomas presentation, directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. Written and produced by Ewa Piaskowska and Jerzy Skolimowski, and Executive-produced by Jeremy Thomas.
Thomas has had a long history with Venice, premiering many titles at the Festival such as Takashi Miike's "13 Assassins" this year, and recently Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Dreamers", Takeshi Kitano's "Brother" and Claire Peploe's "Triumph of Love".
Under his Recorded Picture Company banner, Thomas has produced or executive-produced over fifty films, including the nine-time Oscar winner "The Last Emperor". RPC is known for its strong relationships with leading directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Takeshi Kitano, David Cronenberg and
Stephen Frears, and has films with Phillip Noyce, Terry Gilliam and Vincenzo Natali upcoming.
RPC is currently in post-production on David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" starring Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender and Vincent Cassel.
HanWay Films' current slate includes David Cronenberg's upcoming "A Dangerous Method", Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights", and Toronto Official Selection films "Essential Killing" by Jerzy Skolimowski, "13 Assassins" by Takashi Miike, "Made In Dagenham" by Nigel Cole starring Sally Hawkins, "Super" starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Paige and Liv Tyler, and the animated feature "Chico and Rita" by director Fernando Trueba and the artist Mariscal.