The top prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival has been scooped by Venezuelan film Desde Alla, or From Afar, directed by newcomer Lorenzo Vigas. The film is the first from Venezuela to take the honour and tells the story of a rich man who begins an affair with a young man from one of the city's gangs.

Alfonso CuaronGravity director Alfonso Cuaron headed up this year’s jury.

After accepting the award director Lorenzo Vigas said, ”I want to dedicate this prize to my amazing country, Venezuela. In Venezuela we’ve had some problems in the last few years, I hope this is going to help. We are an amazing nation, and I hope we are going to start talking to each other more.”

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The Silver Lion award for best director went to Argentinian Pablo Trapero for crime thriller, The Clan. The blockbuster tells the real-life story of a Buenos Aires family that abducted wealthy people for ransom and hid them in their house before killing them.

This year’s grand jury was led by Gravity director director Alfonso Cuaron and also included Lynne Ramsay, Pawel Pawlikowski, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Nuri Bilge Ceylan. They gave the night’s second-place grand jury prize to the US-backed animation Anomalisa, directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson.

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The best actor award when to Fabrice Luchini who played a judge in French film L’Hermine, directed by Christian Vincent. L’Hermine also took the award for best screenplay. The best actress prize was awarded to Valeria Golino, the only Italian to be recognised this year. Golino won for her role in Per Amor Vostro, directed by Giuseppe Gaudino.