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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days wins BBC Four World Cinema Award

L-R; Werner Herzog, Anamaria Marinca (lead actress in the winning film), Cristian Mingiu, Jonathan Ross and John Hurt

4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days (4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile), a compelling drama set against the backdrop of a Communist Romania, has been named the winner of the BBC Four World Cinema Award 2009.

Romanian Director Cristian Mungiu flew in to collect the award at a ceremony held last night (27 January) at the BFI Southbank, London.

Mungiu says: "Thank you very much for this award, it honours me greatly. BBC is for me a symbol of quality, professionalism, tradition and equilibrium, therefore, I can not think of a better recommendation for those who haven't yet seen 4 Months 3 Weeks And 2 Days, to go and watch it, than a BBC award."

The film follows the friendship of two girls, Otilia and Gabita, who work together at a university in a small town in Romania under communist rule. When Gabita becomes pregnant, Otilia accompanies her when she goes for an illegal abortion. The film depicts the girls' gritty situation as they make tough decisions and deal with the consequences.

The film has already picked up a number of awards at several of the international festivals.

The award ceremony, hosted by Jonathan Ross, will be broadcast on BBC Four on Saturday 31 January at 9.00pm.

4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days was chosen from a shortlist of five by a panel of judges: Adrian Lester (actor, Hustle, Primary Colors), John Hurt (actor, Alien, Elephant Man), Asif Kapadia (director, The Warrior, Far North) and Sandra Hebron (director, BFI London Film Festival).

Werner Herzog will also receive the inaugural BBC Four World Cinema Achievement Award, announced earlier this month, at the ceremony.

Herzog says: "As long as being dead is not a prerequisite for receiving this award, then I accept it with joy."

Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four, says: "This is proof positive of what a terrific year it's been in international film and BBC Four is proud to celebrate such great talent.

"The winning film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days, is an outstanding film which has gained deserved acclaim from the critics and Werner Herzog is one of film's finest storytellers. I am also delighted that BBC Four is celebrating Werner's work by screening a number of his films."

Notes to Editors

The World Cinema Award will be broadcast on BBC Four on Saturday 31 January 2009 at 9.00pm.

This is the sixth BBC Four World Cinema Award.

The shortlist was nominated by the UK's leading critics, film school heads and festival directors. The five films shortlisted were Gomorrah; Persepolis; The Diving Bell And The Butterfly; The Orphanage and 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days.

The 2009 judging panel

Adrian Lester is best known in the UK as the character of big-time con artist Mickey Stone in the BBC series Hustle. In the United States, he played campaign manager Henry Burton in Mike Nichols' 1998 film Primary Colors, based on the novel by Anonymous (Joe Klein). This part earned him a Chicago Film Critics Association award nomination for Most Promising Actor.

John Hurt, CBE is one of Britain's best-known, most prolific and sought-after actors, and has had a versatile film career spanning over 40 years. Hurt has received multiple awards and honours throughout his career including three BAFTA Awards and a Golden Globe, as well as two Academy Award nominations. His character's demise in Alien is generally regarded as one of the most unforgettable deaths in cinematic history.

Sandra Hebron is the Artistic Director, BFI Film Festivals and is responsible for The Times BFI London Film Festival, one of Europe's leading public film festivals.

Asif Kapadia's directorial debut The Warrior (2001) won him numerous awards including the Evening Standard British Film Award for the Most Promising Newcomer. He has gone on to direct films The Return and Far North.

LK

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