The prize is named after Kitano's latest feature Glory To The Filmmaker! (Kantoku Banzai!) and will be awarded for recognition of directorial talent. Kitano is set to accept the prize in person on August 30 before the international premiere of the film in the Out Of Competition category.
Kitano has a strong relationship with Venice, previously winning the Golden Lion for Hana-bi in 1997. Zatoichi (2003) also won a selection of prizes in Venice, including the Special Director's Prize and the Audience Award. In total, seven of Kitano's films have been invited to screen on the Lido.
Glory To The Filmmaker! was released domestically on June 2 against comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto's directorial debut Dai Nipponjin, which had its world premiere in Cannes ' Directors Fortnight section.
The latter won the box office battle, remaining in the top ten for five weeks and earning just under $10m, while Glory struggled to top $1m. However, Kitano's international reputation is far more established.
Bandai Visual releases a 12-film Kitano DVD box set on October 26 and Glory To The Filmmaker! on November 11.
International sales for Glory To The Filmmaker! are being handled by Celluloid Dreams. Venice runs August 29 to September 8.