VENICE – Sofia Coppola has won the coveted Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Quentin Tarantino presented the 39-year-old director with the top award at the prestigious festival at a ceremony in Venice, Italy. 

Coppola received the honour for her film Somewhere, which tells the story of an actor whose mundane life is transformed when his young daughter comes to stay.

The director has said she based Somewhere on her own upbringing as the daughter of iconic filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and she thanked him in her acceptance speech. “Thanks to my dad for teaching me,” she said.

Tarantino, who was chairman of the jury that unanimously voted Coppola’s film as the best at the festival, praised it in his speech.

"From that first enchanted screening it grew and grew in our hearts, in our minds, in our affections,” he said.

The prize for best director went to Spain’s Alex de la Iglesia for his gory horror film The Last Circus, while French thespian Vincent Gallo was named best actor for his role in Essential Killing.

Coppola is best known for her 2003 film Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. It was nominated for the best picture Oscar. — COVER MEDIA