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Firth wins Best Actor award for portrayal of gay professor

Britain's Colin Firth has won the prize for best actor at the Venice film festival for his portrayal of a college professor grappling with solitude after his gay lover's death.

Firth stars in fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut, A Single Man, which is based on Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel.

"It was just these few of us, in five weeks, on these long night shoots, so it didn't feel like we were part of an industry," said Firth.

The prize for best film went to Samuel Maoz for Lebanon, a graphic war drama depicting the Israeli invasion of 1982 and shot almost entirely from within the confines of a tank.