Volpi Cup

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The Volpi Cup (Italian: Coppa Volpi) is the principal award given to actors at the Venice Film Festival and is named in honor of Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, the founder of the Venice Film Festival. The name and number of prizes have been changed several times since their introduction, ranging from two to four awards per edition and sometimes acknowledging both leading and supporting performances.

Gold Medal Winners (1934)[edit]

The festival was officially competitive for the first time in 1934. The acting awards were named Grande medaglia d'oro dell'Associazione Nazionale Fascista dello Spettacolo per il migliore attore (Great Gold Medal of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment for the Best Actor) and Grande medaglia d'oro dell'Associazione Nazionale Fascista dello Spettacolo per la migliore attrice (Great Gold Medal of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment for the Best Actress).[1]

Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film
1934 United States Wallace Beery Viva Villa! United States Katharine Hepburn Little Women

Volpi Cup Winners (1935–1942)[edit]

Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film
1935 France Pierre Blanchar Crime et Châtiment Austria Paula Wessely Episode
1936 United States Paul Muni The Story of Louis Pasteur France Annabella Wings of the Morning
1937 Switzerland Emil Jannings Der Herrscher United States Bette Davis Kid Galahad
Marked Woman
1938 United Kingdom Leslie Howard Pygmalion Canada Norma Shearer Marie Antoinette
1939 Not awarded[2]
1940 - -
1941 Italy Ermete Zacconi Don Buonaparte Austria Luise Ullrich Annelie
1942 Italy Fosco Giachetti Bengasi Sweden Kristina Söderbaum Die goldene Stadt

International Award Winners (1947–1950)[edit]

After a four-year hiatus caused by the war, the festival was once again competitive in 1947. The acting awards in the immediate post-war period were named Premio Internazionale per il migliore attore (International Award for the Best Actor) and Premio Internazionale per la migliore attrice (International Award for the Best Actress).[3][4][5][6]

Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film
1947 France Pierre Fresnay Monsieur Vincent Italy Anna Magnani Angelina
1948 Austria Ernst Deutsch The Trial United Kingdom Jean Simmons Hamlet
1949 United States Joseph Cotten Portrait of Jennie United States Olivia de Havilland The Snake Pit
1950 United States Sam Jaffe The Asphalt Jungle United States Eleanor Parker Caged

Volpi Cup Winners (1951–1968)[edit]

Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film
1951 France Jean Gabin La Nuit est Mon Royaume United Kingdom Vivien Leigh A Streetcar Named Desire
1952 United States Fredric March Death of a Salesman Sweden Ingrid Bergman Europe '51[7][8]
1953 France Henri Vilbert Le Bon Dieu Sans Confession Germany Lilli Palmer The Four Poster
1954 France Jean Gabin Air of Paris Not awarded[9]
1955 Germany Curd Jürgens Les Héros Sont Fatigués Not awarded[10]
Des Teufels General
United Kingdom Kenneth More The Deep Blue Sea
1956 France Bourvil La Traversée de Paris Austria Maria Schell Gervaise
1957 United States Anthony Franciosa A Hatful of Rain Latvia Dzidra Ritenberga Malva
1958 United Kingdom Alec Guinness The Horse's Mouth Italy Sophia Loren The Black Orchid
1959 United States James Stewart Anatomy of a Murder France Madeleine Robinson À Double Tour
1960 United Kingdom John Mills Tunes of Glory United States Shirley MacLaine The Apartment
1961 Japan Toshirō Mifune Yojimbo France Suzanne Flon Tu ne tueras point
1962 United States Burt Lancaster Birdman of Alcatraz France Emmanuelle Riva Thérèse Desqueyroux
1963 United Kingdom Albert Finney Tom Jones France Delphine Seyrig Muriel
1964 United Kingdom Tom Courtenay King and Country Sweden Harriet Andersson Loving Couples
1965 Japan Toshirō Mifune Red Beard France Annie Girardot Three Rooms in Manhattan
1966 France Jacques Perrin Almost A Man Soviet Union Natalya Arinbasarova The First Teacher
The Search
1967 Serbia Ljubisa Samardzic Jutro United States Shirley Knight Dutchman
1968 United States John Marley Faces Italy Laura Betti Teorema

Acting Award Winners (1983–1987)[edit]

Valeria Golino holding her Best Actress award at the closing ceremony of the Venice Film Festival in 1986

The festival was again competitive in 1980 but the acting awards given by the competition jury were not reinstated until 1983: the prizes were no longer called Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup) but were simply referred to as Premio per il migliore attore (Best Actor Award) and Premio per la migliore attrice (Best Actress Award). Indeed, the winners did not receive cup-shaped awards but were instead given rectangular plaques.

Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film
1983 United States Guy Boyd Streamers France Darling Legitimus Sugar Cane Alley
United States George Dzundza
United States David Alan Grier
United States Mitchell Lichtenstein
United States Matthew Modine
United States Michael Wright
1984 India Naseeruddin Shah Paar France Pascale Ogier Full Moon in Paris
1985 France Gérard Depardieu Police Not awarded[11]
1986 Italy Carlo Delle Piane Regalo di Natale Italy Valeria Golino A Tale of Love
1987 United Kingdom Hugh Grant Maurice South Korea Kang Soo-yeon The Surrogate Mother
United Kingdom James Wilby

Volpi Cup Winners (1988–present)[edit]

Jack Lemmon holding his Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the closing ceremony of the Venice Film Festival in 1992

In 1988, for the first time in 20 years, the most recognizable prizes of the festival were reestablished. The two acting awards were officially named Coppa Volpi per la migliore interpretazione maschile (Volpi Cup for the Best Actor) and Coppa Volpi per la migliore interpretazione femminile (Volpi Cup for the Best Actress).[12]

Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film
1988 United States Don Ameche Things Change France Isabelle Huppert Story of Women
United States Joe Mantegna United States Shirley MacLaine Madame Sousatzka
1989 Italy Marcello Mastroianni What Time Is It? United Kingdom Peggy Ashcroft She's Been Away
Italy Massimo Troisi United Kingdom Geraldine James
1990 Russia Oleg Borisov The Only Witness Chile Gloria Münchmeyer The Moon in the Mirror
1991 United States River Phoenix My Own Private Idaho United Kingdom Tilda Swinton Edward II
1992 United States Jack Lemmon Glengarry Glen Ross China Gong Li The Story of Qiu Ju

Gillo Pontecorvo, the artistic director of the festival's 1993 edition, decided that the number of Volpi Cups should be doubled:[13] the new prizes would acknowledge the performances by actors and actresses in supporting roles and were officially named Coppa Volpi per il migliore attore non protagonista (Volpi Cup for the Best Supporting Actor) and Coppa Volpi per la migliore attrice non protagonista (Volpi Cup for the Best Supporting Actress).[14]

Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film Best Supporting Actor Film Best Supporting Actress Film
1993 Italy Fabrizio Bentivoglio Un'anima divisa in due France Juliette Binoche Three Colors: Blue Italy Marcello Mastroianni Un, Deux, Trois, Soleil Italy Anna Bonaiuto Dove siete? Io sono qui
1994 China Xia Yu In the Heat of the Sun Portugal Maria de Medeiros Três Irmãos Italy Roberto Citran Il Toro United Kingdom Vanessa Redgrave Little Odessa

Two years later, Pontecorvo chose to dismiss several prizes such as the Silver Lion and one of the Volpi Cups.[15] Starting from 1995, only three acting awards were given by the jury: one for an actor in a leading roles, one for an actress in a leading role and one for an actor or actress in a supporting role.

Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film Best Supporting Performer Film
1995 Germany Götz George Der Totmacher France Sandrine Bonnaire La Cérémonie Italy Isabella Ferrari Romanzo di un giovane povero
France Isabelle Huppert United Kingdom Ian Hart Nothing Personal
1996 Republic of Ireland Liam Neeson Michael Collins France Victoire Thivisol Ponette United States Chris Penn The Funeral
Year Best Actor Film Best Actress Film
1997 United States Wesley Snipes One Night Stand United States Robin Tunney Niagara, Niagara
1998 United States Sean Penn Hurlyburly France Catherine Deneuve Place Vendôme
1999 United Kingdom Jim Broadbent Topsy-Turvy France Nathalie Baye An Affair of Love
2000 Spain Javier Bardem Before Night Falls Australia Rose Byrne The Goddess of 1967
2001 Italy Luigi Lo Cascio Light of My Eyes Italy Sandra Ceccarelli Light of My Eyes
2002 Italy Stefano Accorsi A Journey Called Love United States Julianne Moore Far from Heaven
2003 United States Sean Penn 21 Grams Germany Katja Riemann Rosenstrasse
2004 Spain Javier Bardem The Sea Inside United Kingdom Imelda Staunton Vera Drake
2005 United States David Strathairn Good Night, and Good Luck Italy Giovanna Mezzogiorno Don't Tell
2006 United States Ben Affleck Hollywoodland United Kingdom Helen Mirren The Queen
2007 United States Brad Pitt The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Australia Cate Blanchett I'm Not There
2008 Italy Silvio Orlando Giovanna's Father France Dominique Blanc L'Autre
2009 United Kingdom Colin Firth A Single Man Russia Kseniya Rappoport The Double Hour
2010 United States Vincent Gallo Essential Killing France Ariane Labed Attenberg
2011 Republic of Ireland Michael Fassbender Shame Hong Kong Deanie Ip A Simple Life
2012 United States Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master Israel Hadas Yaron Fill the Void
United States Joaquin Phoenix
2013 Greece Themis Panou Miss Violence Italy Elena Cotta A Street in Palermo
2014 United States Adam Driver Hungry Hearts Italy Alba Rohrwacher Hungry Hearts


  1. ^ "Katharine Hepburn received the Gold Medal for the Best Female Performance at the Venice Film Festival." "I divertimenti". La Stampa. 5 December 1934. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  2. ^ "The jury of the international film festival, having acknowledged that the foreign jury members, who are living abroad, are still preventing a reunion from taking place, has decided not to award the international prizes." "La Coppa Mussolini al film Abuna Messias". La Stampa. 15 October 1939. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  3. ^ "La Magnani premiata come miglior attrice". La Stampa. 16 September 1947. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  4. ^ "Il Gran Premio ad "Amleto" di Olivier". La Stampa. 5 September 1948. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  5. ^ "L'assegnazione dei diciassette premi" (PDF). L'Unità. 2 September 1949. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  6. ^ "L'assegnazione dei premi". La Stampa. 11 September 1950. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  7. ^ "The Volpi Award for the Best Actress was not awarded to Ingrid Bergman in Europa '51 because her voice was dubbed." "La premiazione". La Stampa. 13 September 1952. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  8. ^ "The Venice Film Festival will award Ingrid Bergman posthumously today for a movie made 40 years ago. Bergman's son, Roberto Rossellini, will accept the Volpi Cup for his mother's performance in a film called The Greatest Love in America and Europa '51 in Europe. Judges said Bergman was denied the award at the time because her voice was dubbed from Swedish into Italian." "Bergman's Son To Accept Honor For Mom". Orlando Sentinel. 12 September 1992. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  9. ^ "After long discussions, the jury has instead decided not to award the Best Actress prize." "A "Giulietta e Romeo" il Leone di San Marco" (PDF). L'Unità. 8 September 1954. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  10. ^ "Judges at Venice's world film festival which ended last week just could not pick a best actress. [...] 'We didn't think any of them merited the Count Volpi cup,' a festival spokesman said today." "Judges at Festival Can't Find Actress". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 12 September 1955. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  11. ^ "The jury, 'having acknowledged that the two most outstanding female performances - those by Sandrine Bonnaire in Vagabond and Jane Birkin in Dust - are included in the prizes bestowed on the two films as a whole,' has decided not to give the Best Actress Award." "Sant toit ni loi vince il leone d'oro". La Provincia. 7 September 1985. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  12. ^ "Tutti i premiati". La Stampa. 10 September 1988. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  13. ^ "A Venezia i film di Altman e Scorsese". La Repubblica. 10 April 1993. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  14. ^ "I favoriti del Leone" (PDF). L'Unità. 12 September 1993. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  15. ^ "Solo un Leone d'Oro per Venezia del '95". La Stampa. 26 November 1994. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 

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