Category: BBC FOUR
The Return has been named the winner of the BBC FOUR World Cinema Award 2005.
Director Andrea Zvyaginstev flew in from Russia earlier in the day to collect the Award from Jonathan Ross at a ceremony this evening (Thursday 27 January).
Zvyaginstev's debut film is a dark thriller set in the empty landscape of northern Russia, documenting the relationship between two sons and their father.
Returning after an unexplained 12 year absence, Vanya and Andrey's father takes them away on a fishing trip.
The initial excitement of being reunited with their father is tempered by his increasingly brutal attempts to enforce parental control.
As their trip progresses the relationship between the sons and their
father deteriorates into open hostility and sudden violence.
Accepting the award, Zvyaginstev said: "It is a great honour for me to find my name alongside directors whose work I hugely admire such as Zhang Yimou, Takeshi Kitano, Pedro Almodovar, and two other directors whose names I am not going to pronounce now as I am too nervous.
"My special thanks to UGC films UK for the great job they have done distributing my film in this country. I am also grateful to members of the jury for honouring our film with this award.
"I never thought my name would stand alongside these three legendary letters - BBC.
"I wish everyone happiness and prosperity. Thank you very much. I am happy."
The award was announced on BBC FOUR live from the Electric Cinema, London.
The film was chosen by a panel of judges - Gillian Anderson, Roger Clarke and Kevin MacDonald - from a six film shortlist announced earlier this month.
The shortlist was nominated by the UK's leading critics, film school heads and exhibitors.
Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC FOUR, said: "BBC FOUR is just coming up to its third birthday and in that time it has really established itself as home to international cinema on television.
"Our audiences are discerning and passionate in their tastes. I think they will find something to enjoy in any of the films shortlisted."
Notes to Editors
This is the second BBC FOUR World Cinema Award.
Last year's winner - as voted by Bjork, Mike Figgis, Robert Carlyle and Alex Cox - was Belleville Rendezvous, directed by Sylvain Chomet.
The 2005 Judging Panel
Acclaimed documentary film director Kevin MacDonald rose to prominence with his acclaimed debut, One Day In September, winning the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2000.
His second feature, Touching The Void, premiered at Telluride 2003, and was released in the UK in December 2003.
Awards include a Bafta for Best British Film and the Evening Standard Award for Best British Film; it is the highest grossing British documentary in UK box office history.
Gillian Anderson is an award-winning
film, television and theatre actress whose credits include the roles
of Special Agent Dana Scully in the long-running and critically-acclaimed
drama series, The X-Files, and ill-fated socialite Lily Bart in Terence
Davies' masterpiece, The House of Mirth, released in December 2000.
In 2003 she won the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Best Actress Award for her West End debut in Michael Weller's What the Night is For.
Roger Clarke has been the film critic on The Independent's Saturday Magazine since 1999.
He has previously written extensively about film in The Evening Standard, Sunday Telegraph, The Independent, Empire, Variety and Sight & Sound.
Roger has recently been commissioned to write the Rough Guide to World Cinema.
BBC FOUR shows world cinema every Saturday at 9.00pm.