The stars were out in Venice for Variety and the Golden Globe Awards’ party on Thursday night, featuring Chase Stokes, Kelsea Ballerini, Lukas Gage and Pablo Larraín.
Presented by Iervolino and Lady Bacardi Entertainment, the event celebrated breakthrough talent and excellence in Italian filmmaking, handing out several awards under the moonlight. Stokes and Gage received breakthrough actor awards; Jack Huston and Alice Diop were given breakthrough director awards; director Larraín was named the Venice Visionary; director Saverio Costanzo received the Italian Excellence award; and “Ferrari” producers Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi were honored with the breakthrough producers award.
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Stokes, who dropped into Venice from a vacation on the Amalfi Coast with girlfriend and country singer Ballerini, marveled at the honor in a red carpet interview with Variety.
“This journey has been such an incredible experience but it’s been so fast, so to be in a situation, to be honored and to be in a room with so many people that I admire and aspire to be like and look up to is a really, incredible thing,” Stokes said. “I’m still just kind of pinching myself in all these moments.”
He also said he’s “taking some pointers” from the boat drivers in Venice for his “Outer Banks” character John B. “I’m sure there’s some treasure here in Venice,” he said. “I think these boat drivers are way better than John B.”
Of course, this year’s Venice Film Festival has been a bit different, with many stars absent from the festival due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. When asked about his message for the studios, Gage said he hopes “we get a fair deal.”
“Without actors, without writers we can’t tell these stories and we can’t have these amazing movies, so we need to figure something out and we need to quick so we can all get back to work,” Gage said. “I just feel really lucky and grateful to be here at all and get to experience this city in this weird time we’re all going through.”
In his acceptance speech, Gage jokingly thanked his “dad” Chris Appleton, who was also in attendance. “I’m just kidding, it’s my partner, Chris,” Gage laughed. “Thank you for supporting me.”
Other highlights included Nicolas Winding Refn presenting the breakthrough director award to Diop, whom he called a “rebel of the system,” and Larraín receiving the Venice Visionary award from “All Quiet on the Western Front” director Ed Berger.
“This festival is home for me,” said Larraín, who premiered feature “El Conde” at the festival this year. “Getting this award from this man, it means a lot for me… Just keep working guys, that’s all I say. Thank you.”
Following the ceremony, celebrities and industry professionals alike gathered to sip spritzes and dance the night away as the DJ spun everything from “Hung Up” by Madonna to Azealia Banks’ “212.”
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