Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker bags top honours at the Venice Film Festival

Atmosphere'The Truth' premiere 76th Venice Film Festival Italy- 28 Aug 2019

Todd Phillips' Joker has won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.

It's an unusual victory for a comic book film, though, for a dramatic title that owes massively to Taxi Driver and stars an auteur's actor like Joaquin Phoenix, it's a little less surprising.

The Best Actress award went to Ariane Ascaride for her role in Gloria Mundi and Roy Andersson picked up the win for Best Director for About Endlessness.

And there were audible gasps when French-Polish director Polanski - a pariah in Hollywood after his rape conviction - was handed the Grand Prix second prize for his Dreyfus Affair drama, An Officer and a Spy. Polanski was not in attendance to accept the award. There is no movie, he said, "without Joaquin". The festival is considered a launch pad for the awards season, having premiered Oscar winners like "Roma" and "Birdman".

American director Todd Phillips reacts after his film "Joker" winning the Golden Lion for best film at the 76th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, on September 7, 2019.

NigeriNigerian film, "Daughters of Chibok", has won the prestigious Venice Film Festival in Italy.

In particular, they say the boats sailing through the lagoon are eroding the very foundations of the city.

The French-Polish director, who was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences previous year, did not travel to Venice. The film is set in Lahore and tells the tale of a young boy and a trans girl.

Both films contained references to people fleeing poverty and persecution.

The Horizons special jury prize went to "Verdict", about domestic abuse in the Philippines, from director Raymund Ribay Gutierrez.

The film director, Joel Kachi Benson, who received the award amidst applause from an worldwide audience comprising of film makers, world celebrities, tech wizards and entrepreneurs, said he wanted to keep the memory of the Chibok incident alive using VR technology.

Yonfan won Best Screenplay for No. 7 Cherry Lane.

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