Italian documentary takes top prize in Venice |

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Italian documentary takes top prize in Venice

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.

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

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

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