This year, the showcase Laguna Sud - Il cinema fuori dal Palazzo, held off the Lido in the Cloister of the island of S. Domenico (Chioggia) also featured an international competition of short films, Lagune - Vite sull'acqua, organized jointly by ZaLab and Giornate degli Autori.
The jury, composed of the filmmaker Paola Randi, the cinematographer Valerio Azzali and the author Francesco Targhetta, handed out the following awards:
Laguna Sud 2019 Award for Best FilmManara (Lebanon, 2019) by Zayn AlexanderThe film will be screened at the Villa degli Autori.
cinematographyAron MeinhardteditorStephanie NassarcastHala Basma SafieddineZayn AlexanderPascale Seigneurie
Tragedy strikes when the Zayyad family loses its patriarch under mysterious circumstances, leaving the surviving members to fend for themselves within a judgmental community in Southern Lebanon.
"Manara began from my own frustration and angst with a culture that is obsessed with appearances. An older generation who is willing to risk their well being and the well being of their children as long as they remain intact in the eyes of their immediate community, family, and the country as a whole. With that in mind, I chose to tell a story about an affluent family in Southern Lebanon who has just been dealt a ‘scandal', which, if exposed, might stain them for the rest of their lives. How far is this family going to go to protect their secret? At the center is a woman who strives to remain dignified and put together in front of the world. She's engrossed in her image to the detriment of her family. She has decided that living in dysfunction and keeping things bottled up is healthier for her and her family than going public with her secret. Manara means lighthouse. A lighthouse is a steady and grounded structure that leads people to safety and away from danger, risk, and adversity. A lighthouse symbolizes the way forward and helps in navigating our way through rough waters. What happens when that light is extinguished? How then do we move from adversity?" [Zayn Alexander]
Zayn Alexander is a New York-based actor and director of Lebanese origin. Alexander began his career upon moving to New York City in 2010. He made his film debut in the 2012 drama The Defector. In 2017, Alexander starred in and directed the acclaimed short drama Abroad. In 2018, Alexander produced, directed, and starred in the film Manara. In addition to his film career, Alexander has a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Psychology from Columbia University.
Special MentionsSabbia fine estate (Italy, 2019) by Dante Albanesi L'ora di porto (Italy, 2018) by Dario Di Viesto
People's Choice AwardFelici e fortunati (Italy, 2019) by Giulia ZennaroCiruzziello (Italy, 2018) by Ciro D'Aniello