Venice 2013: Italian Doco Sacro GRA Surprise Winner

Miss Violence, Stray Dogs also score, while critical buzz on Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, Kelly Reichardt's Night Moves fails to translate into prizes.

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Sacro GRA's director Gianfranco Rosi.

VENICE: While much of the critical buzz surrounded the likes of Alfonso Cuarón's out-of-competition Gravity, the Golden Lion at the 70th Venice Film Festival has quietly gone to Gianfranco Rosi's Sacro GRA, an Italian documentary in which the filmmaker spent two years touring Rome's enormous ring road -- the "GRA" -- and chronicling the disparate lives around it.

The festival jury, lead by veteran filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci and including the eclectic likes of Carrie Fisher, Pablo Larraín and Ryuichi Sakamoto, awarded the Silver Lion for Best Director to Alexandros Avranas for Miss Violence, while the newly-created Grand Jury Prize went to Ming-Liang Tsai's critically-favored Stray Dogs.

The sole US competition winner was Tye Sheridan, who took home the Best Young Actor award for his performance alongside Nicolas Cage in David Gordon Green's Joe. Earlier, director William Friedkin was presented with the festival's Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, where he held a screening of his personally restored, soon-to-be-released 1977 masterpiece Sorcerer.

Other winners included Themis Panou (Best Actor, Miss Violence), Elena Cotta (Best Actress, A Street in Palermo), Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope (Best Screenplay, for Stephen Frears' Philomena), and The Police Officer's Wife (Winner of the Special Jury Prize).

Check back for a critical round up of the most talked-about features from the festival, including the latest from Jonathan Glazer, Hayao Miyazaki, Terry Gilliam and Xavier Dolan. In the meantime, here's the trailer for Sacro GRA. It's in Italian, but you can get a sense of the film.


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