Italian Documentary ‘Sacro GRA’ Wins Top Prize at Venice Film Fest

Italian Documentary 'Sacro GRA' Wins Top Prize at Venice Film Fest

First year for documentaries in main competition yields a winner

In the first year that documentaries were included in the Venice Film Festival's main competition, one won it all — “Sacro GRA,” which studies life on the highway that encircles Rome, took the Golden Lion at the 70th annual fest.

Italian director in Gianfranco Rosi (above) accepted the award at Saturday's ceremony.

Alexandros Avranas of Greece won the Silver Lion — the best-director prize —  for “Miss Violence,” the disturbing story of a sexually abusive grandfather. Greek actor Themis Panou won the best actor prize for the film.

Italian actress Elena Cotta won best actress for her role in “A Street in Palermo,” while the jury prize went to “Stray Dogs,” from Chinese director Tsai Ming Liang.

Full list of winners below:

GOLDEN LION
“Sacro GRA” (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy)

SILVER LION
“Miss Violence” (Alexandros Avranas, Greece)

JURY GRAND PRIZE
“Stray Dogs” Tsai Ming Liang (Chinese Taipei)

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
“The Police Officer's Wife” (Philip Groneing, Germany)

ACTOR
Themis Panou (“Miss Violence,” Greece)

ACTRESS
Elena Cotta (“A Street in Palermo,” Italy)

MARCELLO MASTROIANNI PRIZE FOR YOUNG PERFORMER
Tye Sheridan (Joe, David Gordon Green, U.S.)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope (Philomena, U.K.)

LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS LION OF THE FUTURE
“White Shadow” (Noaz Deshe, Italy, Germany, Tanzania)