Brokeback Mountain gets Venice's top prize

Ang Lee jets back from Toronto to collect his Golden Lion award

The Venice Film Festival’s coveted Golden Lion Award went to Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. But the director nearly missed out on collecting his prize… “This is my Toronto face,” Lee japed, having left Venice for the Canadian film festival, only to hop straight back on a flight to Venice when informed of his victory upon landing.

“In some ways it is not important that we win the award because we make it for people to share in the experience,” the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director said, “but then again it is great to get the approval.”

Brokeback Mountain tells the tale of two gay cowboys, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, and beat George Clooney’s much fancied Good Night, And Good Luck to the coveted accolade. Good Night didn’t leave empty-handed though, with Clooney’s flick skipping off with awards for Best Actor (David Strathairn) and Best Screenplay (George Clooney and Grant Heslov).

“This screenplay was written 51 years ago by Edward R. Murrow,” said Clooney, “and he taught us a lesson about our responsibility to always question authority. He also said that we as a world community should compete not only in the area of bombs but in ideas as well.”