(By Francesca Pierleoni). Rome, July 13 - British director Sally Potter was awarded the 2018 European Nastro d'Argento (Silver Ribbon) prize in Rome, presented during the outdoor Cinema on the Green film screening at Villa Wolkonsky, the residence of British Ambassador to Italy Jill Morris. This is the first time since the award's inception in 1989 that it was given to a director, for Potter's caustic black-and-white post-Brexit comedy "The Party", which premiered in Italy at the Rome Film Festival. The award was presented to Potter by Laura Delli Colli, president of the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists. In a conversation with journalist Hakim Zejjari prior to a screening of "The Party", Potter said she is "proud to consider herself a feminist". "Nowadays it's easier to say you're a feminist, compared to 20 years ago," she said. "Back then you couldn't say the word without first wincing, because you knew that you would be seen as someone full of anger, and that was something I couldn't stand," she said. "The reality is that feminist means wanting equality, dignity, humanity, asking that this half of the human race is treated with justice. Who can't want that? No one," she said. Potter said, however, that she doesn't believe the "biology of the director" is a determining factor, despite the fact that in her 1983 debut feature-length film, "The Gold Diggers", she insisted on an all-female crew as "a political act, to open the doors to the cinema industry's unions to women, who were at that time mainly excluded from them". In "The Party", whose extraordinary cast includes Timothy Spall, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Patricia Clarkson and Bruno Ganz, Brexit is seen through the lens of the implosion of relationships between couples and friends in the British elite. "It's a sort of tragedy inside of a comedy, that touches on atavistic themes rooted in the current politics of today," she said of the film. "Laughter is a strong medicine; it gives you the strength to fight. It's a freeing act, a sort of awakening. Through laughter, the illusions of hypocrisy, pompousness, the frustrations people have about themselves are broken, and you see the fragility of human beings," she said.
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