VENICE, Italy (AP) -- Russian director Aleksander Sokurov's "Faust," a new take on the German legend about the quest for knowledge at all cost, has won the Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival.

"Faust" was one of the critics' top choices going into the 23 in-competition films and was selected Saturday by the jury headed by Darren Aronofsky, whose "Black Swan" opened Venice last year.

The best actor award went to Michael Fassbender for his portrayal as a sex addict in Steve McQueen's "Shame," while the best actress award went to Deanie Yip, who plays an aging domestic servant opposite her master in Hong Kong director Ann Hui's "A Simple Life."

The Silver Lion prize for best director went to this year's surprise entry, Beijing-based Shangjun Cai for "People Mountain People Sea."