Joker won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice film festival Saturday with Roman Polanski controversially taking second prize.
The film is a take on the comic book villain starring Joaquin Phoenix and is the first superhero film to ever get this kind sort of award.
The last two Venice winners - Roma and The Shape of Water - have gone on to lift the best picture Academy Award, popularly known as the Oscars.
Todd Phillips - the film's director who is known for Very Bad Trip - paid tribute to Phoenix's intense performance, saying he was "the fiercest, bravest and most open-minded lion that I know".
The movie, which The Guardian had described as "one of the boldest Hollywood productions for some time", has already sparked a heated debate.
And there were audible gasps when French-Polish director Polanski - a contreversial figure in Hollywood after his rape conviction - was handed the Grand Prix second prize for his Dreyfus Affair drama, An Officer and a Spy.