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Monday, October 4, 1999 Published at 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK


Golden prize for Human Traffic

Justin Kerrigan receives his award from the Earl of Wessex

The film Human Traffic - which deals with Cardiff's club and drug culture - received royal approval on Sunday when the Earl of Wessex presented director Justin Kerrigan with a Golden Hitchcock award.

Watched by his wife Sophie, Prince Edward presented Kerrigan with the prize at the 10th British Film Festival in Dinard, northern France.

A panel of judges, led by French actress Jane Birkin and including Full Monty star Mark Addy, voted Human Traffic as their favourite film of the festival.

[ image: John Simm takes the lead role in the film]
John Simm takes the lead role in the film
Released in June, the film follows the highs and lows of five friends on a frantic weekend of hedonistic excess in the Welsh capital. Its unflinching portrayal of drug use has led to comparisons with Trainspotting.

Grasping his award so tightly he broke it, 25-year-old Kerrigan said: "This is a very surreal moment for all of us. The fact that people turned up was really a plus."

But not everyone agreed with the judges' choice - part of the audience booed when the surprise decision was announced.

Other winners included Following, Christopher Nolan's film about a young stalker, and Fanny and Elvis, which follows a woman's search for a sperm donor, starring Kerry Fox and directed by Kay Mellor.

Other films in competition included Final Cut, set at a wake and starring Jude Law and Sadie Frost. Janice Beard 45WPM is the story of a woman who works in a typing pool who gets involved in romance and industrial espionage, featuring Patsy Kensit and Rhys Ifans.

Bitter-sweet drama Milk, starring Joss Ackland and Dawn French, was also in competition.

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