Sacro Gra, an Italian documentary about the highway that surrounds Rome, was the surprise winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival tonight in Italy. The award was presented as the 70th edition of the festival, the world's oldest, came to a close.

Gianfranco Rosi's film looks at the Grande Raccordo Anulare (GRA), the nearly 50 mile superhighway in Italy (and the people who live near it). Today's win was a major triumph for a non fiction film in the first year that documentaries were allowed to compete in Venice's Golden Lion competition. Filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci lead the fest jury.

Full list of winners:


Golden Lion
Sacro Gra, directed by Gianfranco Rosi

Grand Jury Prize
Stray Dogs, directed by Tsai Ming-liang

Silver Lion for Best Director
Alexandros Avranas for Miss Violence

Volpi Cup, Best Actor
Themis Panou for Miss Violence

Volpi Cup, Best Actress
Elena Cotta for Via Castellana Bandiera

Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Tye Sheridan, Joe

Best Screenplay
Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope for Philomena

Special Jury Prize
The Police Officer’s Wife, directed by Philip Groning


Lion of the Future for debut film
White Shadow, directed by Noaz Deshe


Best Film
Eastern Boys, directed by Robin Campillo

Best Director
Uberto Pasolini, Still Life

Special Jury Prize
Ruin, directed by Amiel Courtin-Wilson & Michael Cody