Venice film fest to give Deneuve lifetime achievement award

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French film legend Catherine Deneuve will receive an honorary award at the 79th Venice Film Festival, organisers said Wednesday.

The star is to be given a Golden Lion lifetime achievement award at the world's oldest film festival, which runs from August 31 to September 10.

"It is a joy to receive this prestigious award at the Venice Film Festival, which I have known and loved for a long time, since Luis Bunuel's 'Belle de jour' won the Golden Lion," the 78-year-old actress said in a statement.

Festival director Alberto Barbera was behind the decision to present Deneuve with the award. He described her as "an eternal diva, a real icon of the silver screen... among the greatest performers in the history of cinema".

Barbera also highlighted Deneuve's "artistic collaborations with some of the most important European actors and directors", including Roger Vadim, Jacques Demy, Francois Truffaut, Roman Polanski and Gerard Depardieu.

Deneuve has many awards to her name, including two of France's esteemed Cesars for best actress in 1981 for "Le Dernier Metro" and in 1993 for "Indochine", which also won an Oscar for best foreign film.

She won a Palme d'honneur at Cannes in 2005, as well as a Silver Bear at the Berlin film festival in 2002 for best artistic contribution in Francois Ozon's "Huit Femmes".

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