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4 Sep

DVF Awards in Venice Shine Light on Women

VENICE — “My mother all the time taught me that in times of darkness I should search for the sunshine. These women are the sunshine,” said Diane von Furstenberg, hosting the 14th edition of the annual DVF Awards Thursday evening on the Fondazione Cini during The Venice Film Festival.  “They’ll save the world, they’re essentially the most beautiful and bravest, they usually never hand over.”

The DVF Awards were created in 2010 by the designer and The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to acknowledge and support extraordinary women who’re dedicated to remodeling and galvanizing the lives of other women, granting each honoree $100,000 for his or her nonprofit organization so as to further their work.

The event kicked off with a performance by Grammy-nominated singer and mental health advocate Jewel, who recalled how, upon meeting von Furstenberg, she realized she was being fastidiously studied. “At the tip Diane said, ‘I such as you’,” which led to the 2 teaming. “She has a knack for accumulating bada– women. This comes at a value, the willingness to step into the furnace of pain and suffering.”

Jewel and Lilly Singh

Special guest, U.S. House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, touted the ladies being awarded as “heroes of our time, advancing liberty and justice.” But, addressing Barry Diller within the audience, she said should “follow the notes, he wants me to be precise.” She described von Furstenberg as “a trailblazer, she does way more than turn heads on the runway together with her relentless commitment to this mission. When women succeed, America succeeds, and the education of ladies and girls makes the difference.”

Likewise, von Furstenberg praised Pelosi for “exemplifying strength, courage and leadership, her resilience is so inspiring.  She is a task model and he or she saved America again and again.”

Before the event, Pelosi spoke of how politics is increasingly divisive and that “the unlucky presidency [in the U.S.] has enhanced those divisions, not created them, and social media has enabled to seek out like-minded people. We don’t agonize over this, but organize to bring people together.” She expressed her belief that President Joe Biden will win the presidential election once more because he’s “sensible, has empathy, is concentrated on women, the economy and education.”

Along with her strong relationship with von Furstenberg, Pelosi’s association with the style industry can be famously linked to the fiery red Max Mara coat she wore confronting President Donald Trump in 2018, and her power suits. Fashion, nevertheless, should allow “people to be their very own selves, with their very own and different styles,” she cautioned.

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

Dame Emma Thompson spoke of von Furstenberg’s persuasiveness, as she succeeded in “managing to get me right into a dress” — although she curbed the floral pattern’s romantic mood by donning sturdy and studded motorcycle ankle boots. Before the awards ceremony, Thompson, who has a house in Venice, surprised a gaggle of local journalists by speaking in Italian, although she admitted she continues to be learning the language.

She was generous together with her time, speaking freely on quite a lot of subjects, from the #MeToo movement — “don’t think that with Harvey Weinstein all of it went away, women proceed to must be very careful and watchful” — and supporting the actors’ and screenwriters’ strike to purchasing fresh produce on the Venice market (employing the fitting Italian words for sea bass and different vegetables) and revealing she would really like to learn to row, influenced by the plethora of gondolas on the Grand Canal.

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson

Thompson bestowed the DVF Leadership Award on Helena Gualinga, an environmental and human rights defender who advocates for the protection of the Amazon Rainforest and Indigenous people’s rights.

“Gualinga is from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku, a community that has been fighting against big oil firms for many years, fighting for the planet; because they’re within the rainforest, there may be a lot oil there and on Aug. 21 she managed to get a ban on drilling within the Yasuni National Park. It’s an enormous triumph for Ecuador, for the planet, and for girls, who’re going without water in the agricultural communities, women who’re suffering where climate change is having its worst effect. She began when she was 13 and now she’s 21, she’s an old hand at this,” Thompson joked, turning serious by adding that Gualinga “could be very strong and brave, as that is all very dangerous, people get murdered.”

“When the girl who keeps you out of jail calls, you come,” said journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for her fight for freedom of democracy and freedom of expression, and who cofounded website Rappler.

Ressa gave the DVF Leadership Award to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney for her work on behalf of victims of human rights abuses everywhere in the world, and who has cofounded together with her husband George the Clooney Foundation for Justice. Ressa, with eight arrest warrants pending following her criticism of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, said Clooney “gave me the advantage of the doubt,” despite the indisputable fact that “when the State charges you, you’re tainted.” She recounted how she was welcomed by George Clooney, “this little-known actor, who gave us coffee,” eliciting a round of chuckles, and made interested inquiries into her situation.

Ressa praised Amal as “a perfectionist who pays attention to the smallest details and hates talking about herself. She really cares and that’s her place to begin, how she modifies the world.”

In her acceptance speech, citing her efforts to defend victims of injustice all over the world, Clooney quoted Eleanor Roosevelt and the way “it’s higher to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Venice has a special meaning for the Clooneys, as they married here in 2014 and he or she gave a shoutout to each town and her husband, comparing them to one another, “each amazing, all the time taking my breath away, magical and improbable.” She gushed, “I can’t consider you exist,” to a collective fuzzy-warm response from the audience, and before she returned to her seat to kiss him.

Earlier, George Clooney also said it was “fun to be back in Venice,  essentially the most romantic and delightful city on the earth” as he held hands and posed for photos along with his wife. Surely, the couple enjoy spending time in Europe as, along with vacationing on Lake Como, the actor chatted concerning the Provence wine estate they own with others, including Candice Bergen.

Amal Clooney;George Clooney

Amal and George Clooney

Rita Ora gave an award to actor, producer, author and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lilly Singh. “Together with her Unicorn Island Productions, Lilly at heart is a storyteller,” said Ora, who can be a UNICEF ambassador, “and together with her stories she continues to interrupt boundaries, spotlighting underrepresented voices and difficult social norms to rework the best way the world sees, values and invests in women and girls.”  

Ora said on the sidelines of the event that she had partnered with Singh “on a few videos for my music release in Vancouver and it was beautiful.” She met von Furstenberg “at an Oscar luncheon a few years ago, she could be very supportive and a tremendous activist. I’m really proud to be here to represent what the awards mean, to shine a lightweight on those that make a change and a difference.”

Diane Von Furstenberg;Rita Ora

Diane Von Furstenberg and Rita Ora

Highlights of the event, which drew the likes of Renzo Rosso, Remo Ruffini and Diane Sawyer, amongst others, also included Bloomberg Television editor-at-large Francine Lacqua presenting the award to Dr. Joy Buolamwini, founding father of the Algorithmic Justice League, who spoke of her aim to light up the impact of AI on society and stop AI harms, and film director Nadine Ibrahim presenting the award to her mother Amina J. Mohammed, who concluded the event with a poignant speech.

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