Venice Film Festival | Daphne Di Cinto Won The Cultured Focus Visionary In Film Award

The highly acclaimed short film Il Moro - The Moor, screened at the star-studded Cultured Focus Awards Ceremony and Diversity in Film Symposium was acclaimed by the audience. The Cultured Focus Awards recognise artists who through their work question and challenge the status quo.

by GRIOT - Published on 11/09/2022
From left: Andrea Melis, Loretta Grace, Daphne Di Cinto, Alberto Malanchino at Cultured Focus Magazine Awards 2022 and Diversity In Film Symposium - 79° Venice International Film Festival. Photo: Victor Boyko. COURTESY

Daphne Di Cinto was awarded the Cultured Focus Visionary in Film Award in Venice for Il Moro – The Moor, for “demonstrating, in her directorial debut, a sharp ability to harness the power of storytelling and creativity for social change.” Di Cinto presented the story of Alessandro de’ Medici, the first Duke of Florence, Italian ruler of African descent who lived in the 1500s. Through imagery and dialogue that draw a subtle but strong parallel to the experience of contemporary Black Europeans, the director “managed to fuse past and present enveloping the audience with a soundtrack that is both classical and soulful.” Her directorial style was praised as “precise and conscious”. Di Cinto, who has been very vocal about the need to foster representation on both sides of the camera, has chosen for her short film a cast and crew that represents Italy’s multiculturality.

The ceremony was held at Hotel Danieli, during the 79th Venice International Film Festival and was attended by some members of the cast, such as leading actor Alberto Boubakar Malanchino alongisde co-star Andrea Melis and singer and digital influencer Loretta Grace. In addition to them, other personalities were present: content creator Aida Diouf, fashion designer Judith Saint Jermain—who accessorized Di Cinto for the occasion—the talent agent Charity Dago, Justin Randolp Thompson, artist and professor of Black History Month, and Ira Fronten, artistic director of the Italian Black Movie Award.

Between 2021 and 2022 Di Cinto has been awarded with other prizes: Best Italian Short Film at the Fabrique du Cinema Awards (2021, Italy), Best Short Film at the Italian Black Movie Awards (2022, Italy), and Best Narrative Short Film at the Madrid Film Awards (2022, Spain). In 2022 her work was part of the Official Selection of the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.

From left: Taylor Lynn, Loretta Grace, Ainslee, Alem Robson, Ira Fronten, Daphne Di Cinto, Aida Diouf, Cecilia De Pasquale, Judith Saint Jermain, Charity Dago. Photo: Victor Boyko. COURTESY


Director, writer and media artist Ainslee Alem Robson accepted the Cultured Focus Innovation in Film Award. Her award winning work Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR presents memory, reality, and the digital converge in an immersive memoir about Ethiopian-American mixed-race identity in a virtual, post-spatial home created from images collected from friends and family. It comes to life through a pointcloud dreamscape generated using crowdsourced data and built using gaming technology. This afrosurrealist world aims, among other things, to contributing to the movement to change the reductive and stereotypical narratives of Africa.

Revered Italian actor Pino Calabrese received the Cultured Focus Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Calabrese’s illustrious career in the performing arts began in 1972 in the theater, working with professionals like Massimo Troisi, Gigi Proietti, Enrico Montesano, Pippo Delbono, and many others. Calabrese’s skills evolved, ranging from cabaret and musical works to dramatic and comedic theater, to productions with social and political content. During the ceremony Calabrese stated: “I would like to imagine a future in which each person could be represented on screen. Diversity is wealth, we should never forget it.


The documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, by Laura Poitras won the Golden Lion, Bones and all, by Luca Guadagnino, won the Silver Lion. Alice Diop won the Grand Jury Prize and the First Film Prize for her first fiction, Saint-Omer. Cate Blanchett starring in TAR and Colin Farrell in The Spirits of the Island won the Coppa Volpi.

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