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Dark ‘Joker’ wins top Venice Film Festival prize

US actor Joaquin Phoenix signs the movie's poster for a fan as he arrives for the screening of the film "Joker" on August 31, 2019 presented in competition during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)

Todd Phillips’ dark comic book film “Joker” has won the Golden Lion Award at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

Jury president Lucretia Martel on Saturday announced this year’s winners of the prestigious award. The Golden Lion previously has spotlighted films that went to be major awards season players, such as “Roma” and “The Shape of Water.”

Phillips thanked Warner Bros. and DC for taking a bold swing with the movie, and his star, Joaquin Phoenix, for trusting him.

Roman Polanski’s Dreyfus affair film, “An Officer and a Spy,” won the grand jury prize. Polanski was not in attendance to accept the award.

Luca Marinelli won best actor for “Martin Eden,” and Ariane Ascaride took the best actress prize for the French domestic drama “Gloria Mundi.”

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