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Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
French award for Bloody Sunday
Brian Devlin portraying Father Edward Daly
Bloody Sunday has won plaudits around the world
Paul Greengrass' film Bloody Sunday has won top honours at a French festival dedicated to the best in British movie-making.

Bloody Sunday, about the killing of 13 civilians in Londonderry by the British army in 1972, won the Hitchcock d'Or best film prize at the Dinard British Film Festival.

Alfred Hitchcock once lived in the Brittany town where the festival is held.

The film, starring James Nesbitt, has been criticised for its stance on the Derry killings, and for the fact it received National Lottery funds, distributed by the Film Council.

But it has received worldwide acclaim, winning the Golden Bear in Berlin and the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

Its showing at the New York Film Festival this weekend sold out.

Director Paul Greengrass said: "I'm absolutely delighted that the French audience has had the opportunity to see this film and that it has received such a prestigious award."

Beckham scores

Gurinder Chadha's Bend It Like Beckham - about a young British Asian woman who sets her sights on football stardom - won the Hitchcock L'Argent audience award.

Cinematographer Alwin Kuchler's work on Scottish film Morven Callar, which starred Samantha Morton and Kathleen McDermott, won him the Prix Kodak award for best photography.

Both films were also backed by lottery cash.

Film Council spokesman Ian Thomson estimated 20,000 people from all over France attended the festival.

He said: "The French revere British film, and our aim is to put British film on an international stage and be seen as a nation of good film-makers.

"The Dinard festival is a good platform for this and we are delighted with this year's awards - the success here is the start of British film being respected abroad."

The Film Council plans to return the favour by starting a similar festival of French film in the UK.

See also:

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