Venice Film Festival to honour director William Friedkin

Rome: US director William Friedkin, creator of films such as `The Exorcist` and `The French Connection`, will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year`s Venice Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

The award is to be presented to Friedkin, 77, during the Aug 28-Sep 7 event, which will also feature a screening of a restored version of his 1977 film "Sorcerer".

"Venice, especially during the film festival, is a spiritual home to me," Friedkin said in a statement. "The Golden Lion is something I never expected but am proud to accept it with gratitude and love."

He described "Sorcerer" as both the most personal of his roughly three-dozen films and the one that was "the most difficult to achieve".

Alberto Barbera, now in his second year as the festival`s artistic director, said Friedkin has "contributed in a prominent way - the revolutionary impact of which has not always been recognized - to the profound renewal of American cinema regarded as the `New Hollywood`."

Friedkin`s `Killer Joe` was screened in competition during the 2011 Venice Film Festival.