Sudabeh Mortezai wins the first Hearst Film Award

An award with a cash prize of 10,000 euros for Best Female Talent will be handed out today, at 7 pm, by the Hearst Italia Group during the evening awards ceremony for Giornate degli Autori.
The winner of the first Hearst Film Award - Best Female Director is the Austro-Iranian filmmaker Sudabeh Mortezai, for her film Joy, the story of a Nigerian woman on a voyage to find freedom: "There are immigrants that even the racists have no problem putting up with: they are women like Joy, child prostitutes reduced to slavery. It's going on today, in Austria, with its right-wing government. But it's no different from what's happening in Italy here and now. Joy begs us to not turn away from this reality."
So declared the jury that assigned the award, made up of the editors of the magazines in the Hearst Group involved: Francesca Delogu, Cosmopolitan; Elena Mantaut, Elle; Monica Mosca, Gente; Maria Elena Viola, Gioia!; Antonella Bussi, Marie Claire; and Giampietro Baudo and Timothy Small, esquire/com.it.

Indeed, despite the fact that the film industry still sees too few women in the director's chair, this year, out of 12 Giornate degli Autori films, a good half were directed by women. Sudabeh Mortezai, director of Joy, beat out the other five women-directed films that made up the official selection for the prize: Three Adventures of Brooke by Yuan Qing, C'est ça l'amour by Claire Burger, Pearl by Elsa Amiel, Domingo, co-directed by Clara Linhart and Fellipe Barbosa, and Emma Peeters by Nicole Palo.
"We are delighted that, in a year in which the issue of women's creativity has been placed squarely at the heart of the cultural conversation," says Giorgio Gosetti, "the Hearst Group has chosen to underscore the importance of this issue by instituting its own independent award. Whether in the spotlight or away from the glamour of show business, women are finally getting that central role that has all too often been denied them or forgotten about."
Involved in the world of film and the arts since its start, this year Hearst Italia, for the first time, wanted to be on board with all its women-oriented brands for this event that celebrates Italian film, thanks to its partnership with Giornate degli Autori. And this important new award for female directors is a fitting epilogue to the Venice Film Festival and Giornate itself.