Page last updated at 21:46 GMT, Saturday, 14 February 2009

Peru film wins Berlin Golden Bear

Claudia Llosa, director of Golden Bear winner The Milk of Sorrow - 14/2/2009
The Milk of Sorrow is director Claudia Llosa's second feature film

Peruvian film The Milk of Sorrow has won the Berlin Film Festival's coveted Golden Bear award for best picture.

The first Peruvian film in the festival's main competition, it tells the story of a young woman who was born of her mother's rape in the 1980s.

It beat hotly-tipped The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson, and My One and Only, with Renee Zellweger.

The runner-up Silver Bear was shared by Uruguay's Gigante and Germany's Everyone Else.

"This is beautiful... this is such an honour," said The Milk of Sorrow's director, Claudia Llosa, on receiving the award.

"This is for Peru. This is for our country."

Hit picker

The Messenger, which sees Harrelson play an army officer assigned to inform the next of kin about soldiers killed in combat, won the Silver Bear for best script for writers Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon.

Woody Harrelson
The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson, won best script

Sotigui Kouyate from Mali won the Silver Bear for best actor for his turn in London River as a French Muslim waiting for news of his son after the deadly bombings in London in July 2005.

The film also stars Brenda Blethyn and is directed by French-Algerian Rachid Bouchared.

The best director Silver Bear went to Iranian Asghar Farhadi for About Elly, the story of middle-class Iranians whose trip to the Caspian Sea turns to tragedy as they try to uphold their social customs.

British actress Tilda Swinton was this year's jury president.

The Berlin Film Festival is in its 59th year. Part of its appeal is its reputation for often picking out future hit films.

Last year's winner of the Golden Bear was The Elite Squad, a violent tale of corrupt drug-squad officers in Brazil.

The UK's Sally Hawkins was best actress for Happy-Go-Lucky. Last month she also won the Golden Globe for best comedy actress for the same role.

Iran's Reza Naji won best actor at Berlin last year for The Song of Sparrows.

US film-maker Paul Thomas Anderson took the prize for best director for There Will Be Blood.

Its star Daniel Day-Lewis went on to win an Oscar for best actor.

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