Famed Spanish actress Penelope Cruz won the best actress award for movie Parallel Mothers, at the 78th Venice Film Festival.
The 47-year-old actress was handed the prestigious Volpi Cup, the latest success for the all-conquering queen of Spanish cinema.
She won the accolade for her role in Pedro Almodovar directorial Parallel Mothers.
It was a surprisingly political turn for the flamboyant filmmaker, exploring the trauma of the 1930s Spanish civil war alongside the tale of two mothers sharing a maternity ward.
It marks a departure into dark historical territory for the director, while still focusing on the themes of motherhood and female relationships that have been central to many of his films.
Accepting the accolade, she said, “Thank you, Pedro. This is 100 per cent yours. “Thanks for once again trusting me, for inspiring me every day with your search for truth, outside and inside.”
The Vanilla Sky actress described Almodovar as "my safety net" in a press conference ahead of their red carpet appearance in Venice.
"He can ask me to do something that can really scare me but I know he will be there waiting to sustain me," she said, adding that she was grateful to the director for giving her "so many different, challenging characters".
Cruz has appeared in seven of Almodovar's movies, including All About My Mother and Volver.