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Sept. 11, 2007

Film by School of the Arts Professor Wins Top Prize at Venice Film Festival

A scene from <em>Lust, Caution</em>
A scene from Lust, Caution
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Lust, Caution, produced and co-written by School of the Arts (SOA) film division faculty member James Schamus and directed by Ang Lee, won the Venice Film Festival top award, the Golden Lion, this weekend.  

Lust, Caution, a spy thriller set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the early 1940s, is the latest film between longtime collaborators Lee and Schamus — their last film together, Brokeback Mountain, received the Golden Lion in 2005. Michael Hausman, an adjunct professor at School of the Arts, was executive producer.  Brokeback Mountain went on to garner a Best Director Oscar for Lee in 2006.

Professor James Schamus
Professor James Schamus

Columbia’s Film Division has a record of great success at the Venice Film Festival — the Golden Lion has been awarded to three Columbia-affiliated films in the past seven years. The 2001 Golden Lion went to Monsoon Wedding, directed by SOA faculty member, Mira Nair and with a screenplay by Columbia M.F.A. student Sabrina Dhawan as her thesis script.

Related links

Review of Lust, Caution, International Herald Tribune
SoA Faculty, Alumni Score Honors in Oscar Nominations
Venice Film Festival

When asked how he planned to mark his new Venice victory, Schamus replied, “What better way to celebrate this latest Golden Lion than by returning the next day to teach my classes in the company of an even more venerable lion: Columbia University.”

Lust, Caution opens Sept. 28.

– Written by Anne Burt. Photographs courtesy of Focus Features.