Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War romantic drama “The Shape Of Water,” about a mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with a fish man, has taken the top prize of the Golden Lion at this year’s 74th Venice FIlm Festival.
Annette Bening led the jury for this year which also handed out a Grand Jury Prize to Samuel Maoz’s “Foxtrot” and a Special Jury Prize to Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country”.
Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” scored best screenplay and Xavier Legrand’s work on “Jusqu’a La Garde” won him both the Silver Lion for Best Director and the ‘Lion of the Future’ which honors a debut film.
Acting honors went to Charlotte Rampling for “Hannah,” Kamel El Basha for “The Insult,” and a newcomer award for Charlie Plummer in “Lean On Pete”.
In the Venice Horizons section, Susanna Nicchiarelli’s “Nico” won best film while Vahid Jalilvand’s “No Date, No Signature” scored awards for director and its leading man Navid Mohammadzadeh. Lyna Khoudri in “Les Bienheureux” scored best actress, Alireza Khatami’s “Los Versos Del Olvido” won screenplay, and “Caniba” took a Special Jury Prize.