The Joker and Roman Polanski win at Venice festival

Europe
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Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix at the Venice Film Festival, 7 September 2019Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Joker – directed by Todd Phillips (left) and starring Joaquin Phoenix – is based on the Batman villain

The Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, has taken the top Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Director Todd Phillips’ film about the comic villain, starring Joaquin Phoenix, is already being tipped for the Oscars.

Roman Polanski won the Grand Jury Prize for An Officer and a Spy, despite controversy over of its inclusion.

The director was convicted of statutory rape in 1978 and has faced various other allegations of sexual assault.

Polanski did not attend the ceremony. His wife Emmanuelle Seigner, who stars in the film, took to the stage instead.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Producer Alain Goldman, actor Emmanuelle Seigner and co-producer Luca Barbareschi accepted the award for An Officer and a Spy

The chair of the jury, Argentine director Lucrezia Martel, had previously defended the film’s inclusion, while admitting it made made her “uncomfortable”

“I will not congratulate him, but I think it is correct that his movie is here at this festival,” she said during the festival’s opening press conference.

The festival had also been criticised for its male-dominated line-up, with just two of the 21 films coming from female directors.

However, it was climate protesters who occupied the red carpet ahead of the closing ceremony.

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Media captionClimate protesters take over the Venice red carpet

They were protesting against huge cruise ships visiting Venice, something, they say, which is damaging the environment.

Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger and actor Donald Sutherland were were among those to acknowledge the protesters and back their cause.

The pair were promoting Giuseppe Capotondi’s film, The Burnt Orange Heresy, which they star in.

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