Todd Phillips' Joker has won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.

The movie, which stars Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role and is due for release in Ireland on October 4, claimed the coveted prize after being screened at the prestigious event.

After winning the award, Phillips was keen to share the praise, thanking "Warner Bros and DC for stepping out of their comfort zone and taking such a bold swing on me and this movie".

He was joined onstage by Joaquin Phoenix, who was also singled-out for his contribution to the project, a biopic of the of the infamous DC Comics villain, Batman's legendary nemesis.

"There is no movie without Joaquin Phoenix," Phillips said. "Joaquin is the fiercest and brightest and most open-minded lion I know. Thank you for trusting me with your insane talent."

Recent previous winners of the Golden Lion award include Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water and Alfonso Cuaron's Roma.

Meanwhile, Roman Polanski's An Officer and a Spy was awarded the Grand Jury Prize, although the controversial Polish director wasn't present to collect the award.

Luca Marinelli was judged the Best Actor for his performance in Martin Eden, a film that's based on the 1909 novel of the same name by Jack London, while Ariane Ascaride won the Best Actress prize for her performance in the French drama Gloria Mundi.