New movie The Master was the toast of the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Saturday night (08Sep12) after scoring the top prizes, including acting awards for stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Moviemaker Paul Thomas Anderson was awarded the Silver Lion prize for direction for his work on the film, which is loosely based on late author and Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
The movie's stars Phoenix and Hoffman shared the festival's acting prize, but the picture lost out on the festival's highest honour - the coveted Golden Lion Award - to South Korean drama Pieta.
Reports suggest The Master was the leading contender for the top prize, but missed out due to festival rules governing how many awards can be given to one picture.
However, director Anderson told reporters he is still happy with his haul: "I'm thrilled with whatever they want to hand over. I heard the scuttlebutt (sic) recently, but I'm thrilled with whatever we got."
The Master also won the Fipresci critics award for best film in competition.
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