Italian actress Stefania Sandrelli and Japanese film director Hayao Miyazaki will be presented with the prestigious Golden Lions at this year's Venice Film Festival.

Movie maker Miyazaki, 64 - who had a recent hit with film HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE - is hailed as one of Japan's greatest animation directors.

And 59-year-old actress Sandrelli is being recognised for her successful career in Italian and international cinema since her first acclaimed performance in Pietro Germi's 1961 film DIVORCE ITALIAN STYLE.

After hearing the news, the actress said, "It is a wonderful present and I thank everyone who helped to make my career."

The pair will receive the prestigious honour at the festival which opens 31 August and runs until 10 September (05).