Colin Firth in A Single Man.

Fashion designer Tom Ford’s directorial debut has won the Queer Golden Lion at the annual Venice Film Festival.

Ford’s film, A Single Man, which is based on Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel, also scooped a best actor award, in the official festival competition, for its star Colin Firth.

Although the Queer Golden Lion is independent of the main festival, Ford’s film was widely praised.

The film’s premiere screening received a standing ovation and some critics hailed Ford’s film as representing the emergence of major new film talent.

“Fashion designer Tom Ford gets it spectacularly right first time round in his directorial debut,” said Screen Image in its review of A Single Man.

The film concerns a man named George, played by Frith, who decides to commit suicide after his partner of 16 years dies in a car accident.

“[He] thinks it is the last day of his life, so for the first time in a long time he is seeing, and he is pulled by the beauty of life,” the 48 year old Ford said at a press conference.

The fashion designer turned filmmakers said that film was not a gay film per se: “It’s really a film about love and isolation that I think all of us feel, so it is very universal.”

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