Actor Colin Firth has won a best actor award for his portrayal of a gay man.

He starred as a gay professor in A Single Man, which was directed by fashion designer Tom Ford and is based on Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel.

Firth won the accolade at the Venice Film Festival. In the film, his character struggles with loneliness after his partner dies.

The movie is Ford’s debut in the film business. At a news conference, he said it was not “about being gay”.

Ford added: β€œIt’s really a film about love and isolation that I think all of us feel, so it is very universal.

β€œWhen I see someone who sees the film and says, ‘It’s a gay story,’ I don’t even know what they are thinking, it just seems to me a human story.”