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Italian documentary takes top prize in Venice

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Sacro Gra
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Sacro GRA, a documentary about the people who live and work around Rome’s ring road, took home the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival Saturday.

Sacro GRA, directed by Gianfranco Rossi, is the first documentary to ever win the prize, and is the first Italian film to be recognized at the highest level since 1998 when Gianni Amelio’s The Way We Laughed won. Founded in 1932, the Venice Film Festival has historically excluded non-fiction films from the competition. This was the first year they were eligible for consideration.

Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang’s family drama Stray Dogs won the Grand Jury Prize, and Alexandros Avranas took Best Director for his domestic abuse film Miss Violence. Among the other winners were Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life) for his performance in David Gordon Green’s Joe, and Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, who took away Best Screenplay for Philomena.

Check out the full list of winners below.

VENICE 70

Golden Lion: Sacro GRA

Grand Jury PrizeStray Dogs

Silver Lion for Best Director: Alexandros Avranas, Miss Violence

Volpi Cup, Best Actor: Themis Panou, Miss Violence

Volpi Cup, Best Actress: Elena Cotta, Via Castellana Bandiera

Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress: Tye Sheridan, Joe

Best Screenplay: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope, Philomena

Special Jury PrizeThe Police Officer’s Wife

HORIZONS

Best Film: Eastern Boys

Special Jury Prize: Ruin

Best Director: Uberto Pasolini, Still Life

Special Award for Innovative Content: Mahi Va Gorbeh

Best Short Film: Kush

CRITICS WEEK

“Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a debut film: White Shadow

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