August 1, 2007 / 1:50 AM / 10 years ago

Queer Lion to roar at Venice Film Festival

2 Min Read

ROME (Hollywood Reporter) - The Queer Lion award is finally coming to the Venice Film Festival after four years of negotiations.

The prize will be awarded to the best full-length film in competition or in any of the festival's sidebars that features a gay theme or character, even if the character does not play a central role. The name Queer Lion is a take on Venice's main prize, the Golden Lion.

"We aren't looking for the next 'Brokeback Mountain,'" the competition's director, Daniel Casagrande, said in an interview. "We are just looking for films that accurately portray gay characters or themes."

With 22 films in competition at the 64th annual event -- which runs August 29 to September 8 -- and about three dozen others screening in sidebars, Casagrande said he expects "around 10 or 12" films to be candidates for the prize.

The plaudit is a gold plaque with the Venice Lion winged logo in black with the rainbow colors of the gay pride flag on the wings. A small international jury will select the winner.

The award comes after Casagrande approached the festival with the idea in 2003. The Berlin International Film Festival has been handing out a similar prize -- the Teddy Awards, a play on Berlin's Golden Bear -- for the past 21 years.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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