The movie "Pelo Malo" (Bad Hair) by Venezuelan director Mariana Rondon was unanimously voted on Saturday as winner of the Golden Shell at the 61st San Sebastian Film Festival by a jury presided by film director Todd Haynes.

The Venezuelan, the fourth woman to take the festival's top honor and the first Latin American woman to do so, repeated "Thank you" four times in the Basque language: "Thank you for choosing this small film I made to escape the anguish of so much intolerance."

"To think differently, to be different," she said visibly moved when talking to reporters, "that's not the problem, it's the most beautiful thing about one human being meeting another."

"Pelo Malo" tells the story of Junior, a 9-year-old mulatto boy whose hair grows obstinately frizzy and whose obsession is to straighten it perfectly for the school photograph, a determination that suggests to his mother that something gay might be going on.

"The debate is open and it wasn't me who opened it, that is only one of the kinds of intolerance the film talks about," Rondon said. "All I want is that we sit down and talk about our differences."

On another topic she said that "making movies is always hard because we always talk about money, but the money is just a detail - what's difficult is making sure the movie comes out well."

In her final words to the press she said that "this prize is very important to me personally, but above all it's a commitment to keep trying to do better." EFE