Dev Patel in 'Lion'.
Garth Davis’ Lion has been presented with the ‘Diversity in Film’ award by the Zurich Film Festival.
The award was presented by festival co-director Karl Spörri at a special screening in Gstaad, Switzerland at the end of last month. Lion originally opened the festival back in September – the film's European premiere.
“At a time when we’ve seen so much divisiveness across the globe, it’s important to have a film that speaks to the power of bringing people together. Love is the driving force that can ultimately create amazing change both for those who give it unconditionally and those who are recipients of it,” said Spörri.
The award was accepted by The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein, who said: "Garth Davis' bravery in making this film and working with a lot of non-actors echoes the qualities we’ve come to recognise in the neo-realist films by De Sica or Rossellini, two filmmakers who were not afraid to make poignant statements about many of the societal qualms of their time. Lion is a real story about people of different colours and religions and it too doesn’t shy away from the genuine realities of the characters, elevating the film to what Michael Sragow in Film Comment referred to as ‘cathartic and optimistic.’"
Director Davis he was “incredibly honoured” for Lion to have received the award.
“I have always been a firm believer in the power of film and art to create positive change. Lion is the perfect example of the power of unconditional love and its ability to transcend any socially constructed differences. At the end of the day, we are all humans and we share an enormous capacity to love and be loved. Now, more than ever, this film reminds us to be open, tolerant, and kind to all people no matter our differences. We are thrilled the Zurich Film Festival has chosen to recognise Lion as a champion of these values,” said Davis.