Director wins prize for first film

VENICE — British visual artist-turned-helmer Steve McQueen is the winner of the Gucci Group Award given in tandem with the Venice Film Festival to personalities outside the movie industry who have made an outstanding contribution to film.

 McQueen bagged the Gucci Group nod for his first film, “Hunger,” about the death of Irish Republican Army leader Bobby Sands, which also scooped this year’s Cannes Camera d’Or.

 The winner was announced Monday during a gala in Palazzo Grassi on the Grand Canal.

 The jury of the prize’s third edition comprises Venice artistic topper Marco Mueller, U.S. artist Jeff Koons, Vogue Italy editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani and Yves Saint Laurent’s creative director Stefano Pilati.

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