Los Angeles: Debutant director Lorenzo Vigas' "From Afar" bagged the coveted Golden Lion award at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, becoming the first Latin American film to receive the honour.
"From Afar" or "Desde alla", the first ever entry from Venezuela to the festival, follows a wealthy middle-aged man who falls for a street thug, changing both their lives.
It is based on a story by "21 Grams" writer Guillermo Arriaga.
The head jury, Alfonso Cuaron ('Gravity'), denied a suggestion that the outcome of the jury's deliberations may have been influenced by his Mexican heritage, reported Deadline.
"I have as much sway as the King or Queen of Sweden. My role is more representative than anything else. Even if I had wanted (to support Latin America) it would have been a bigger conspiracy and I would have had to share the money," he joked.
"The Childhood of a Leader", starring Robert Pattinson, won the best first film and earned debutant Brady Corbet's the title of best director.
A historical drama about the childhood of a fascist leader during World War I, it also starred Berenice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, and Stacy Martin.
French drama "L'Hermine" or "Courted" won Fabrice Luchini the Volpi Cup for the best actor and the film also received the best screenplay award for Christian Vincent's work.
The Grand Jury award, often considered as the runner-up honour, went to Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's American animated film, "Anomalisa".
Cary Fukunaga's "Beasts of No Nation", which marks Netflix's foray into feature film, earned one of the cast, Abraham Attah, a Marcello Mastroianni Award for the best young actor.
Pablo Trapero won the Silver Lion award for the best director for his film "The Clan". Noticeably missing from the winner list is "The Danish Girl" starring Eddie Redmayne, despite its rave reviews from audience.
"This is not a testament of a universal truth. This is just this decision of this group of people. You know if you put the same films with a different group of people, you would have a different result. An award doesn't prove much. The only thing that proves something is time and history," Cuaron said.