Pedro Almodovar will be honoured with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival.

The Spanish filmmaker will be presented with the prestigious prize in recognition of his career during the 76th annual Italian film extravaganza.

"I am very excited and honoured with the gift of this Golden Lion," Almodovar said in a statement. "I have very good memories of the Venice Film Festival. My international debut took place there in 1983 with Dark Habits. It was the first time one of my films travelled out of Spain, it was my international baptism and a wonderful experience, as it was my return with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in 1988. This Lion is going to become my pet, along with the two cats I live with. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for giving me this award."

Festival director Alberto Barbera called the Volver filmmaker "the greatest and most influential Spanish director since (Luis) Bunuel" and praised his portrayal of women onscreen.

"Without forgetting that Almodovar excels, above all, in painting incredibly original female portraits, thanks to an exceptional empathy which allows him to represent their power, emotional richness, and inevitable weaknesses with a rare and touching authenticity," he said.

Almodovar will receive the award alongside The Sound of Music's Julie Andrews, the other 2019 honouree. They follow in the footsteps of previous honourees which include Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Vanessa Redgrave, and Clint Eastwood.

The 69-year-old director remains very busy, and his latest movie, Pain and Glory, was selected for the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
His star, Antonio Banderas, took home the Best Actor award for his role.

The Venice International Film Festival runs from 28 August to 7 September.