Venice Film Festival Awards Top Prize to Alexander Sokurov’s ‘Faust’

Michael Fassbender is awarded best actor for his role in “Shame”

“Faust,” the final installment in Alexander Sokurov’s four-part version of Goethe’s classic tragedy, has won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival.

Darren Aranofsky, chairman of the jury, presented the Russian director the award at the closing ceremonies Saturday.

The movie screens this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Michael Fassbender (right) won the Coppa Volpi award for best actor for his work in “Shame,” by British director Steve McQueen.

(Fox Searchlight acquired U.S. rights to “Shame” at the Toronto International Film Festival.)

The Coppa Volpi award for best actress went to Deanie Yip, for her film “Tao Jie,” or “A Simple Life,” by Ann Hui of Hong Kong.

The Silver Lion award for best director went to Shangjun Cai, of Hong Kong, for the film “Ren Shan Ren Hai,” or “People Mountain People Sea.”

“Faust” is the first of Sokurov’s series to be about a fictional character. His others were “Moloch,” about Hitler, “Taurus,” about Lenin and “The Sun,” about Emperor Hirohito.

The special jury prize was presented to “Terraferma,” by Italian director Emanule Crialese. The movie is set on an island south of Sicily and tells the tale of a fishing boat captain who runs into a raft filled with African immigrants – and saves several of them while the Coast Guard grabs the rest. The captain loses his boat and then runs into more drama.

This is the second time Crialese has won the award. He was honored five years ago for “Nuovomondo,” or “Golden Door.”

Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido took the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young actor or actress for the film “Himizu,” by Japan’s Sion Sono.

The best cinematography award went to Robbie Ryan, for “Wuthering Heights.”