Joaquin Phoenix-starrer "Joker" has bagged the top prize at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.
A jury headed by Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel adjudged the film as the winner of coveted Golden Lion trophy, the festival organisers said in a statement.
Directed by Todd Philips, "Joker" features Phoenix in the role of iconic DC Comics villain The Joker.
The standalone film is being touted as an origin story as well as character study of the Clown Prince of Crime. It premiered at the festival on August 31 and received an eight-minute-long standing ovation from the viewers.
Phoenix, however, was overlooked for best actor trophy, which went to Luca Marinelli for his titular turn in the Jack London adaptation "Martin Eden".
Meanwhile, embattled filmmaker Roman Polanski's upcoming French-language feature "An Officer and a Spy" was awarded the Grand Jury Prize, the runner-up trophy, at the festival.
The film's inclusion in the competition line-up was not well received but it had the backing of festival director Alberto Barbera.
"An Officer and a Spy", which features his current wife Emmanuelle Seigner and Oscar winner Jean Dujardin in the lead, is based on the real-life story of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French-Jewish soldier accused of spying for the Germans. His trial had become the talk of Paris in the 1890s.
The best actress award went to French star Ariane Ascaride for her performance in the film, "Gloria Mundi". Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson won the Silver Lion for best director for his About Endlessness".
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