Russian film with non-professional actors won the parallel competition of the 77th Venice Film Festival

“The Whaler” by Russian director Philip Yuriev won the parallel program of auteur films “Venetian Days” (Giornate degli autori) at the 77th Venice Film Festival.

The film was shot in Chukotka with non-professional actors. “The Whaler” is the director’s debut feature film. In his opinion, watching non-professional actors is much more interesting than famous actors who have already been seen many times. “At the beginning it was very difficult, it seemed to me that this was an unrealistic task: a difficult location, complex emotional scenes, moreover, these guys are orphans,” noted Philip Yuriev.

The “Venetian Days” festival was established in 2004. This independent program runs in parallel with the international film festival and brings together films of high artistic quality. Awards are also presented in this program; the main award is 20,000 Euro.  The amount is split equally between the winning director and the international distributor who will be distributing the film. The president of the jury in 2020 is Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, whose film “Synonyms” won the main prize at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. “The Whaler” won the right to claim Luigi Di Laurentis’ Lion of the Future Award.