Cultured Focus Magazine Magnifies Excellence in Film at the 79th Venice International Film Festival


Cultured Focus Magazine’s Annual Awards and Diversity in Film Symposium
Reported by: Taylor Lynn | Cultured Focus Magazine’s Annual Awards and Diversity in Film Symposium

A Celebration of Excellence in Film was on Display at the Cultured Focus Magazine’s Annual Awards and Diversity in Film Symposium


On September 5, 2022, Cultured Focus Magazine hosted its celebrity Cultured Focus Awards Ceremony and Diversity in Film Symposium at the Hotel Danieli in Venice, Italy.

At the ceremony, the esteemed Italian actor Pino Calabrese was honored with the Cultured Focus Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his illustrious and fruitful career that spanned the stage, film, and television for the better half a century.

Mr. Calabrese's successful career in the performing arts started in 1972 in the theater, collaborating with experts like Massimo Troisi, Gigi Proietti, Enrico Montesano, Pippo Delbono, etc. Calabrese's abilities expanded from cabaret and musical compositions to dramatic and humorous theater to performances with social and political substance.

At the 2019 Sorrento Film Festival, he was recognized for his work in the film "Breaths," which was released in 2018. Calabrese made the following remarks during the event: "I would like to envision a world in which each individual could be expressed on screen. We must never lose sight of diversity as a source of wealth."

Evgeny Afineevsky, who was previously nominated for both the Academy Award and the Emmy Award, was also honored. The Excellence in Film award was given to this film's director and producer.

Documentaries directed by Afineevsky are works of art because they expertly delve into the lives and stories of regular people and offer them a voice. His critically acclaimed films investigate the independence and dignity of people, notwithstanding the presence of war. The movies "Winter on Fire" and "Cries from Syria" are two examples.

In addition to that, he is the creator of the film "Francesco," which is based on the life and beliefs of Pope Francis. The most recent film he has worked on, titled "Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom," will have its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

Natalia Nagorna, a journalist and the lead actress in the film, was there to see the event with him. During her speech, she detailed the heartbreaking stories and challenges that the people of Ukraine are currently facing. In particular, in this day and age, Afineevsky emphasized how important every voice is to be heard.

Not only is renowned playwright, director, and producer Daphne Di Cinto an accomplished actress, but she also played the role of the Duchess of Hastings in the Netflix series Bridgerton. Daphne Di Cinto is a graduate of the Actors Studio Drama School. The crowd was left in a state of amazement and respect after watching her widely regarded short film "IL MORO" (THE MOOR), played during the ceremony.

She was awarded the Cultured Focus Visionary in Film title for her work. The piece has already been recognized with several awards, the most recent of which was the Best Director of a Foreign Short Film at the Madrid International Film Festival 2022.

Ainslee Alem Robson won the Cultured Focus Award for Innovation in Film. Robson had won multiple accolades with Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR, including the Special Jury Prize at the New Images Festival in Paris. The 79th Venice International Film Festival presented her film KANDAKA. The film centers on an African queen who led her people into conflict with the Romans.

Her mixed expertise in philosophy and digital media gives her liberatory storytelling tactics. Through a cross-cultural, feminist, and first-generation American lens, she creates worlds centered on decolonization tales that dissect identity, illusion, hierarchy, and colonial legacies using cinema and developing digital art tools to express her message.

Justin Randolph Thompson, an artist and professor, spoke about Black History Month in Florence in his capacity as a co-founder and director of the event. In addition, he gave a wide-ranging talk about educational initiatives that aim to improve the historical narrative of black people.

Venice Film Festival Committee Member , journalist and film critic Angela Prudenzi highlighted the importance of women’s voices in cinema and spoke on initiatives that further that mission including the Women in Cinema program.


Francesca Van Horne, an actor and writer who has won numerous accolades, served as the leader of the Cultured Focus Symposium on Diversity in Film. She did an excellent job of moderating the panel of brilliant industry experts.


Ekaterina Shevlikova, a journalist, presided over the gathering. Best Color Makeup, based in Italy, was responsible for the journalist's event-appropriate makeup application.

Lead actors of IL MORO, including Alberto Boubakar Malanchino and Andrea Melis were in attendance, along with special guests Loretta Grace, Ira Fronten, Aida Diouf, Judith Saint Jermain, Cecilia De Pasquale, Jermay Michael Gabriel, and Charity Dago. Film producer Taylor Re Lynn hosted the event.



Cultured Focus is a magazine that focuses on entertainment and delivers up-to-date news on art and culture from the United States and worldwide. Since its inception in 2016, this publication has showcased the most accomplished individuals worldwide. These individuals include A-list celebrities, corporate executives, and a wide variety of other people working to improve the world.