London film fest wraps, touts success

'Slumdog Millionaire' gala screening closes fest

LONDON -- The Times BFI London Film Festival closed its curtains Thursday evening with the gala screening of Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" and organizers claiming its most successful year to date.

Director Danny Boyle, alongside "Slumdog" cast members Dev Patel, Frieda Pinto and Anil Kapoor walked the last red carpet of this year's show.

At the closing night, organizers dished out three awards with director Sergey Dvortsevoy taking home this year's Sutherland Trophy for best first feature with "Tulpan" while director Matthew Newton took the FIPRESCI international critics award for "Three Blind Mice."

The annual Satyajit Ray Award for first feature went to "Mid-August Lunch" directed by Gianni di Gregorio. The Grierson Award for best documentary went to directors Renaud Barret and Florent De La Tullaye for "Victoire Terminus."

The 52nd edition of the event played host to a record 15 world premieres from its lineup of 191 movies and 109 shorts from 43 countries, organizers said.

Another record broken was the presence of 1,096 industry professionals and "the highest audience attendance" to date.

No further details were available as the event drew to a close Thursday evening.

Festival artistic director Sandra Hebron said: "Combining high profile red carpet premieres with the best of European and world cinema, it [the festival] has offered a celebration of international filmmaking in all its forms. It has been a pleasure to welcome so many talented directors, actors, writers and producers to London to present their work, and gratifying that our audience figures are the highest ever."