Philomena by British director Stephen Frears has won the seventh annual Queer Lion prize at the 70th annual Venice Film Festival.

The three-person jury announced the winner on Friday. Nine films competed for the the prize, which recognizes films with queer elements playing at the festival.

The film adapts the real-life story of Philomena Lee (played by Dame Judi Dench), a retired Irish-born nurse in search of the son she was forced to give up nearly 50 years earlier. Steve Coogan plays down-on-his-luck journalist Martin Sixsmith, who helps Philomena search for her son. Sixsmith recounts their journey in The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, the book which the movie is based on.

With Sixsmith's help, Philomena, a staunch Roman Catholic, finds out that Anthony Lee had been adopted by an American couple, and is gay. (A trailer for the film is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Other notable films competing for the prize included Bruce La Bruce's Gerontophilia, John Krokidas' Kill Your Darlings, Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm and Abdellah Taia's Salvation Army.

Jeon Kyu-hwan's The Weight won last year's prize.