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Guillermo del Toro's 'The Shape of Water' wins Golden Lion in Venice

September 09, 2017 - 12:16 PM

VENICE, Italy - Guillermo del Toro's monster thriller "The Shape of Water" has won the Venice Film Festival's top prize, the Golden Lion.

A jury led by American actress Annette Bening chose the film from among 21 competing at the 74th annual festival — an edition where the world's social divisions and the spectre of climate change resonated through many of the entries.

It beat contenders including George Clooney's "Suburbicon" and Alexander Payne's "Downsizing."

The runner-up Grand Jury Prize on Saturday went to Israeli director Samuel Maoz' "Foxtrot."

Palestinian actor Kamel El Basha and British actress Charlotte Rampling took the festival's acting trophies.

The world's oldest film festival wrapped up Saturday after 11 days that brought stars including Clooney, Matt Damon and Jennifer Lawrence to the canal-crossed Italian city.

Del Toro says he hopes his victory will inspire young directors to "have faith in whatever you have faith in — in my case, it's monsters."

"The Shape of Water" is a fantastical story about a mute young woman, played by Sally Hawkins, who falls for a mysterious sea creature being held at a high-security lab.

Many viewers in Venice fell for the movie's audacious mix of genres: It's a monster movie, a Cold War thriller and even, at times, a musical.

A grateful del Toro told an audience at the festival's closing ceremony Saturday that "I believe in life. I believe in love and I believe in cinema."

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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