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The announcement was made Saturday night during a special ceremony at the U.K.’s capital Banqueting House, three years after Zvyagintsev’s previous film, the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated Leviathan, won the same award in 2014. Loveless, Russia’s submission for the foreign-language film Oscar, will be distributed in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics in early 2018.
The event — hosted by James Nesbitt and with guests including Andrea Arnold, Hayley Atwell, Eric Bana, Jason Isaacs, Anya Taylor-Joy and Lily Cole — also saw Palestinian film Wajib from Annemarie Jacir commended by the main jury, headed by Arnold.
Elsewhere, John Trengove’s South African LGBT coming-of-age story The Wound won the Sutherland Award for first feature, with a special mention given to Carla Simon’s dreamlike Spanish drama Summer 1993. Kingdom of Us, from Brit director Lucy Cohen, took home the documentary competition award, with commendations also going to Makala and Before Summer Ends.
In the short film competition, best film honors went to Patrick Bresnan’s The Rabbit Hunt.
The awards ceremony, which came on the penultimate day of the London Film Festival, also saw filmmaker Paul Greengrass receive the British Film Institute’s highest honor, the BFI Fellowship, presented to him by frequent collaborator and Working Title co-chairman Tim Bevan.
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