Joker Wins Top Prize at Venice Film Festival

The 76th annual Venice Film Festival recently came to a close, and amongst all the competition the festival awarded the hotly anticipated Joker its prestigious Golden Lion top prize. The film earned rave reviews at the festival, and both director Todd Philips and Joaquin Phoenix were on hand to receive the award. Phillips kicked off his speech by thanking the studio for going out on a limb for the film, which definitely takes some risks and goes for a different tone than many superhero films (via THR).

Phillips said thank you to "Warner Bros. and DC for stepping out of their comfort zone and taking such a bold swing on me and this movie."

He also made sure to spotlight Phoenix, who brings the man who will be come Joker Arthur Fleck to life in the movie. "There is no movie without Joaquin Phoenix," Phillips said. "Joaquin is the fiercest and brightest and most open-minded lion I know. Thank you for trusting me with your insane talent."

You can find the full list of winners below.

Venice 76 Awards

Golden Lion: Todd Phillips, dir. Joker

Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize: An Officer and a Spy, dir: Roman Polanski

Silver Lion Best Director: Roy Andersson, dir. About Endlessness

Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Ariane Ascaride, Gloria Mundi

Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Luca Marinelli, Martin Eden

Best Screenplay Award: No. 7 Cherry Lane, dir. and written by: Yonfan

Special Jury Prize: The Mafia is No Longer What it Used to Be, dir: Franco Maresco

Marcello Mastroianni Award: Toby Wallace, Babyteeth, dir: Shannon Murphy

Horizons Awards

Best Film: Atlantis, dir: Valentyn Vasyanovych

Best Director: Blanco en Blanco, dir: Theo Court

Special Jury Prize: Verdict, dir: Raymund Ribay Gutierrez

Best Actress: Marta Nieto, Madre

Best Actor: Sami Bouajila, A Son

Best Screenplay: Revenir, dir: Jessica Palud, written by Jessica Palud, Philippe Lioret, Diasteme

Lion of the Future

Lion of the Future Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film: You Will Die at 20, director: Amjad Abu Alala

Venice VR

Best VR Film: The Key, director: Celine Tricart

Best VR Experience Award: A Linha, director: Ricardo Laganaro

Best VR Story Award: Daughters of Chibok, director: Joel Kachi Benson

Venice Classics

Best Documentary on Cinema: Babenco: Tell Me When I Die, director: Barbara Paz

Best Restored Film: Ectasy, director: Gustav Machaty

Joker stars Phoenix (Arthur Fleck/Joker), Zazie Beetz (Sophie Dumond), Robert De Niro (Murray Franklin), Brett Cullen (Thomas Wayne), Frances Conroy (Penny Fleck), Marc Maron (Ted Marco), Douglas Hodge (Alfred Pennyworth), Josh Pais (Hoyt Vaughn), Bryan Tyree Henry, Bryan Callen, Shea Whigham, and Glen Fleshler. You can find the official description below.


"Drama. Joker centers around the iconic arch-nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale."

Joker hits theaters on October 4th.