- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2011

VENICE, ITALY (AP) - The Venice Film Festival says it will honor Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio with a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the next edition of the festival running Aug. 31-Sept. 10.

The festival called the 71-year-old Bellocchio “one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of recent decades.”

Bellocchio’s first film “Fists in the Pocket” in 1965 established him as one of the leading figures of Italian cinema.

The festival said in a statement Sunday that the worldwide success of 2009’s “Vincere” confirmed Bellocchio’s standing as one of three major Italian directors active today, alongside Bernardo Bertolucci and Ermanno Olmi.

Recent winners of the award have included Hong Kong action filmmaker John Woo and John Lasseter and his Pixar creators of “Toy Story,” “Nemo” and other animated films.

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