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12th Christopher D. Smithers Foundation “Ambassador of Hope” Award at the 79th Venice International

Aggiornamento: 5 ott 2022

Created and established in 2008, the “Ambassador of Hope” Award originated from Adele Smithers with the aim of raising awareness about substance and alcohol abuse and disorder and is annually given to the film that best represents these issues during the Venice International Film Festival. The Award has now reached its 12th edition. The jury, composed by Nikki Smithers, President of Smithers Foundation and President of the Jury, Brinkley Smithers, Smithers Foundation, Pierpaolo Saporito, President of OCCAM and President a.i of CICT ICFT UNESCO, Giacomo Mazzone, Secretary General EUROVISIONI, Alessandro Mandelli, founder of Serially, Maria Chiara Scipioni, Junior Delegate, is honored to announce that the winner of the 12th “Ambassador of Hope” Award at the 79th Venice International Film Festival is:


by Laura Poitras

With the following motivation: The documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshell by Laura Poitras is a masterpiece that touches upon many social and current issues by presenting rare footage and intimate interviews that provide insights into the life and work of renowned photographer and activist Nan Goldin. As one of the most prestigious contemporary photographers, known for her fervent adherence to important causes and themes, including sexuality and addiction – especially in her series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency documenting the queer communities of New York in the 70s and 80s – All the Beauty and the Bloodshed retraces Goldin’s family and professional vicissitudes and the tortuous journey that led her to addiction to oxycodone and eventually to the establishment of the defense group P.A.I.N (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now). With this group, Goldin advocates – and has successfully done so – for museums and other art institutions to stop collaborating with the Sackler family, whose business is responsible for the sales of those opioid painkillers. “My greatest pride is to have brought to its knees a family of billionaires in a world where billionaires can count on a different justice from people like us and their impunity is total in the United States. And, for now, we’ve shot one down.” - Nan Goldin The documentary not only well describes Goldin’s fight against the Sackler’s family, but most importantly gives an insight into the economic, social and institutional parallels between the HIV/AIDS crisis and the current opioid crisis in the country as well as other important social fights for homosexuality rights and rights to sexual freedom. In doing that, it highlights how social crises do not exist in a single context, but rather it is necessary to capture the relationships between communities in order to probe their depths.

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Smithers Foundation _Ambassador of Hope_ Award
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