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Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 10:31 GMT
Atonement bags three Empire gongs
James McAvoy
James McAvoy attended the event at London's Grosvenor House Hotel
Atonement has been named best British film at the Empire Awards in London.

The wartime epic's stars, James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, were named best actor and actress at the ceremony.

Action thriller The Bourne Ultimatum won best film, while Scottish film star Ewan McGregor received an icon award to mark his career on the big screen.

"I've been so lucky to work with a great many talented and passionate actors and directors and occasionally producers," said McGregor.

Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live he said it was an honour to be have received the gong.

"It's very nice, I was very flattered by it, I didn't choose the award," he said.

"I told my kids before I left, 'now listen to your father because he's an icon now and do as you're told'," he added.

Another British film, Control, won two awards, including best newcomer for Sam Riley, who played Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis in the rock biopic.

Outstanding contribution

He saw off competition from other emerging talent including Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Atonement.

Control, which is shot entirely in black and white, also went away with the prize for best soundtrack.

Matt Damon
We're all for doing a fourth movie, but it means coming up with a good story
Matt Damon on making a fourth Bourne Ultimatum film

Matt Damon thanked Empire readers as he collected the award for The Bourne Ultimatum.

"I don't get many awards and I don't get nominated for a lot of awards but when I do I tend to lose out to more younger, talented, better-looking guys like James McAvoy," he said.

The actor had earlier revealed he did not know where rumours of making film number four in the Bourne series had come from.

"We never said anything about a fourth movie, so I think its one of those stories that has kind of got a life of its own.

"Not that we're against it, we're all for doing a fourth movie, but it means coming up with a good story. There are a lot of things that would have to happen before we would sign up to do it."

The best director award was given to David Yates, the maker of the latest Harry Potter outing The Order of The Phoenix.

This Is England director Shane Meadows was honoured with the outstanding contribution to British film award.

His film was named best British film at the Bafta awards last month.

Other movies honoured at Grosvenor House Hotel event included 28 Weeks Later for best horror film, Hot Fuzz won best comedy and Stardust was named best sci-fi film.

In pictures: Empire Film Awards
10 Mar 08 |  In Pictures
Atonement leads Empire shortlist
04 Feb 08 |  Entertainment
Atonement lands top Bafta award
10 Feb 08 |  Entertainment
Bafta Film Awards 2008: The winners
10 Feb 08 |  Entertainment
Atonement wins at Golden Globes
14 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
Atonement tests Knightley's fame
28 Aug 07 |  Entertainment

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