Venice, Italy Mira Nair's vision of an elaborate wedding in India won top honors Saturday at the Venice Film Festival, with "Monsoon Wedding" winning the Golden Lion award for best film.
"L'Emploi du Temps" (The Use of Time), by French director Laurent Cantet, a true story of a man who resorts to murder to keep up a fictitious life he has created for himself, won the night's second Lion in the new competition category of Cinema of the Present.
Nair's "Monsoon Wedding," a favorite at the Cannes Film Festival as well, depicts a colorful and musical wedding in India's Punjab state. The film was shot in a month with hand-held cameras.
"This one is for India, my beloved India, my continuing inspiration," Nair told the audience. She called the film "nothing but a testament to life."
The festival was noticeably thin on the glam front Saturday night without top draw Nicole Kidman, who left days ago.
But Johnny Depp stayed through the end of the festival and screened his film "From Hell," which was attended by Princess Caroline of Monaco and her husband, the ANSA news agency said.
The 58th annual Venice festival's Grand Jury Prize went to "Hundstage" by Ulrich Seidl. Iranian director Babak Payami won best director for the Iranian-Italian production "Secret Ballots."
The jury awarded Alfonso Cuaron best screenplay for "Y tu Mama Tambien," (And Your Mother Too), a box office hit in Mexico about friendship and sensuality.
Italian actors picked up awards in the best actor and actress categories.
Luigi Lo Cascio won for "Luce dei miei Occhi" (Light of My Eyes), about a lonely young man and his obsession with a single mother.
Best actress went to Italian Sandra Ceccarelli for her role in the same film by Giuseppe Piccioni.