Colin Firth's latest movie Girl with a Pearl Earring has won the top prize at Dinard - a French film festival wholly dedicated to British cinema.
Firth, pictured here in Bridget Jones's Diary, plays Vermeer
The film was awarded the Hitchcock D'Or prize - so named because the legendary director once lived in the Brittany town where the festival is held.
French producer Charles Gassot, who headed the jury of eight, called the film "a technical tour de force".
Girl with a Pearl Earring is released in the UK on January 16 2004.
This year the jury decided to split the prize money awarded with the Hitchcock d'Or with a special award, Le Prix de la Mise en Scene, for best director.
The award went to Scotland's Richard Jobson for his directorial debut 16 Years of Alcohol.
The Prix Kodak for best cinematography was awarded to Wojchiech Szepel, the Director of Photography on Emily Young's film, The Kiss of Life.
The other films in competition were Conspiracy of Silence, One for the Road and Wondrous Oblivion.
Girl with a Pearl Earring is based on the novel by Tracy Chevalier about a 16-year-old Dutch girl who becomes a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer, and becomes the subject of one of his most famous paintings.