Page last updated at 19:35 GMT, Saturday, 12 September 2009 20:35 UK

Top Venice award for Israeli film

Maoz: 'The tears came back to my eyes'

The Israeli war film Lebanon has won the top award at the Venice Film Festival, the Golden Lion.

The film, by director Samuel Maoz, is shot almost entirely inside an Israeli tank against the backdrop of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

The award for best director went to Iranian-born Shirin Neshat for the film Women Without Men.

Britain's Colin Firth won Best Actor prize for A Single Man, in which he plays a mourning professor.

The BBC's David Willey in Italy says this year's winners all sent strong political or social messages.

Lebanon has been described by the leading US entertainment magazine Variety as "the boldest and best" of recent films from Israel about the country's wars in Lebanon.

The high-profile Italian film Baaria, a Sicilian-based family epic, failed to win any prizes.

The jury of the 66th Venice Film Festival was headed by Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee, who won the Golden Lion in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain.

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