The Golden Lion (Italian: Leone d'Oro) is the highest prize given to a film at the Venice Film Festival. The prize was introduced in 1949 by the organizing committee and is now regarded as one of the film industry's most prestigious and distinguished prizes. In 1970, a second Golden Lion was introduced; this is an honorary award for people who have made an important contribution to cinema.
The prize was introduced in 1949 as the Golden Lion of Saint Mark (the winged lion which had appeared on the flag of the Republic of Venice). Previously, the equivalent prize was the Gran Premio Internazionale di Venezia (Grand International Prize of Venice), awarded in 1947 and 1948. Before that, from 1934 until 1942, the highest awards were the Coppa Mussolini (Mussolini Cup) for Best Italian Film and Best Foreign Film.
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world. Founded 1932, the festival has since taken place every year in Venice, Italy. It is part of the Venice Biennale, a major biennial exhibition and festival for contemporary art. The festival's Leone d'Oro (Golden Lion) prize is awarded to the best film screened at the festival.
One of the gifts a movie lover can give another is the title of a wonderful film they have not yet discovered. Here are more than 300 reconsiderations and appreciations of movies from the distant past to the recent past, all of movies that I consider worthy of being called “great.” / Roger Ebert