London – 28 October 2009: The 53rd London Film Festival announced its winners at the high profile awards ceremony held at London’s Inner Temple this evening:

In recognition of original, intelligent and distinctive filmmaking, Best Film was awarded to Jacques Audiard’s A PROPHET.

Special mention to John Hillcoat’s THE ROAD, praising the film’s breathtaking vision, extraordinary performances and profound political statement.

Presented for the first time, the award for Best British Newcomer celebrates new and emerging film talent, rewarding the achievements of a new writer, producer or director who has demonstrated real creative flair and imagination with their first feature: Jack Thorne, screenwriter of the film THE SCOUTING BOOK FOR BOYS.

Special mention to J Blakeson, the writer and director of THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED, commending his accomplished, original and ambitious filmmaking.

The longstanding Sutherland Award is presented to the maker of the most original and imaginative first feature screening in the Festival: Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani took the award for their film AJAMI.

LONDON FILM FESTIVAL GRIERSON AWARD, in commemoration of John Grierson, the grandfather of British documentary Yoav Shamir for his film DEFAMATION.

The highest accolade that the British Film Institute bestows was awarded to British actor John Hurt and Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé for their significant achievements in the fields of acting and directing. Hurt’s films 44 INCH CHEST and THE LIMITS OF CONTROL, were featured in the festival, and Cissé’s TELL ME WHO YOU ARE had its UK premiere at the festival.