Winners of the 51st annual London Film Festival announced

Directors Vincent Paronnaud and Marianne Satrapi won the Sutherland Trophy for their feature Persepolis at the 51st annual London Film Festival, which closed yesterday after a two-week run. Based on a graphic novel by Satrapi, the animated film offers a young girl’s perspective of life during the Islamic revolution in Iran. The famous names who lent their voices for the feature include Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Sean Penn, Gena Rowlands and Iggy Pop.

The FIPRESCI International Critics Award went to the British film Unrelated. Directed by Joanna Hogg, the movie follows a woman who escapes her unhappy marriage only to be forced to confront the fact that she has no children of her own.

Director Sarah Gavron won the Alfred Dunhill Award for her drama Brick Lane, a story about an unhappy young Bangladeshi woman trapped in an arranged marriage in the 1980s London.

The unfinished feature California Dreamin’ (Endless), directed by Romanian filmmaker Cristian Nemescu, who was tragically killed in a car crash last year, won the Satyajit Award. Based on a true story, the film tells the tale of a train station chief who stops a NATO train that transports military equipment during the war in Kosovo in 1999.

Tom Tagholm’s A Bout de Truffe won the TCM Short Film Award, while the Grierson Award went to the Bulgarian documentary film The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories by Andrey Paounov.

During the festival, Oscar nominated English director Paul Greengrass, best known for political movies Open Fire, The One That Got Away, Bloody Sunday, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, United 93 and the two Jason Bourne movies, was presented with the Variety UK Achievement in Film Award.

Among high profile movies screened at this year’s London Film Festival, there were David Cronenberg’s Russian mob thriller Eastern Promises with Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, which opened the event, Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzmann, Joe Wright’s critically acclaimed romance Atonement with James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, and the world premiere of Robert Redford’s latest feature Lions for Lambs, an Afghanistan war drama penned by Matthew Michael Carnahan and starring Redford, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Peter Berg. Lions for Lambs will be released in the US on November 8.

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