'Leviathan' Wins Top Prize at London Film Festival

The awards ceremony also saw Stephen Frears awarded the BFI Fellowship honor

Russia’s Oscar entry and Cannes best screenplay winner Leviathan has picked up the best film award at the BFI London Film Festival.

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s tale of small-town corruption was revealed as the official competition winner by jury president Jeremy Thomas in a ceremony held on Saturday.

"We were all very engaged by the 12 films selected for competition and really admired many of them, there were extraordinary stories and impressive images,” said Thomas. "But there was one film that we were unanimous in wanting to award best film, Leviathan directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. Its grandeur and themes moved all of us in the same way."

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The ceremony also saw the first feature competition award go to Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s Ukrainian drama The Tribe, while the documentary winner went to Ossama Mohammed and Wiam Simav Bedirxan for Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait. The best British newcomer was awarded to Sameena Jabeen Ahmed for her role in Catch Me Daddy.

The ceremony concluded with Stephen Frears being awarded the British Film Institute’s top honor, the BFI Fellowship. On presenting the award, British screenwriter and playwright David Hare said: "I can’t think of anyone who’s made a richer, more diverse or more consistently intelligent contribution to British film in my lifetime."

The BFI London Film Festival concludes on Saturday with the European premiere of Fury, with Brad Pitt and director David Ayer set to attend.

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