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Del Toro’s fairy tale wins top prize at Venice Film Festival

VENICE: Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water”, a dark fairy tale in which a mute cleaning lady falls in love with an aquatic creature, won the Golden Lion award for best film at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday. The film beat contenders including George Clooney’s “Suburbicon” and Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing” at the end of a 10-day, high-quality and star-studded movie marathon that critics said showed Venice was now on an equal footing with the widely revered Cannes film festival. “As a…

German illustrator wins top prize with drawings of animals mimicking humans

STOCKHOLM: With his family of cats celebrating Christmas, bears arm-in-arm and even a crocodile in a sailor suit, German illustrator Wolf Erlbruch on Tuesday won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for literature aimed at children and young adults. Erlbruch, who has written some ten books and illustrated almost fifty, scooped the prize for making "existential questions accessible and manageable for readers of all ages" over his 30 year career, organizers said. "I’m still in shock and will be for some time. But it's…