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July 04 2011 - 00:07

Helen Mirren Awarded at MIFF

“The Debt” closed the film festival.

“The Debt” closed the film festival.

British film star Helen Mirren was awarded the Stanislavsky prize as the Moscow Film Festival finished Saturday night after nine days and 380 films.

Mirren, who is half-Russian, was given the award whose full title is the mouthy “The Special Prize for the Outstanding Achievement in the Career of Acting and Devotion to the Principles of the K. Stanislavsky School.”

The award was present by Channel One head Konstantin Ernst. “She is a real theatrical actress, a real cinematographic queen,” said Ernst, who when she came on stage proclaimed: “Your majesty, I am happy to give you this award.”

One of Mirren’s most famous roles was playing Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film “The Queen,” for which she won an Academy Award. She has played queens six times in movies over the years.

Ernst also said Mirren should feel at home because her real name is Yelena Vasilyevna Mironova — Mirren is half-Russian on her father’s side.

Mirren said she was proud to receive the award from her own people.

Her film “The Debt,” about three Mossad agents searching for a Nazi war criminal they thought they had killed decades ago, closed the festival.

The festival’s top prize, the Golden George, went to Spanish film “Las Olas,” or “The Waves,” directed by Alberto Morais. The Special Jury Prize went to “Chapiteau Show,” a tour de force by director Sergei Loban. The four part musical, which runs almost 3 1/2 hours, was hailed as a future cult classic after its debut in the competition section.

The best director award went to Wong Ching-Po for “Fuk Sau Che Chi Sei,” or “Revenge: A Love Story.” Other Silver George winners were Carlos Alvarez-Novoa, who starred in “The Waves,” for best actor and Urszula Grabowska in the Polish film “Joanna” for best actress.

One of the strongest parts of the festival was its documentary section. Danfung Dennis’ “Hell and Back Again,” a look at the war in Afghanistan and what it is like to lead men into war, won the best film prize in the inaugural documentary competition program.

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