Guillermo del Toro is known for his gothic storytelling | Getty Images
Guillermo del Toro's critically-acclaimed romantic fantasy The Shape of Water has won the Golden Lion at the 74th Venice Film Festival.
The Mexican director, known for his Gothic horrors, said the coveted award was a testament to staying "with what you believe in - in my case, monsters".
Del Toro's latest film tells the tale of a cleaning lady (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with an aquatic creature.
Israeli director Samuel Maoz's Foxtrot won the runner-up Grand Jury prize.
France's Xavier Legrand won the Silver Lion, named as best director for his drama Jusqu'à la Garde (Custody).
Del Toro dedicated the award to young Latin American directors.
"As a Mexican, I dedicate this award to all those Mexicans and Latin American directors dreaming of doing something as a parable, who are told it can't be done. It can be done," he said.
Source: BBC News