Moscow Film Festival honours Depardieu

French actor Gerard Depardieu has won a lifetime achievement award at the 28th Moscow International Film Festival.

Picking up the award, the Cyrano De Bergerac star said his career had been inspired by Russian author Dostoevsky.

His latest film, How Much Do You Love Me, won a best director award for Bertrand Blier, while the top prize went to Swedish film About Sara.

Britain's Julie Walters receieved the Best Actress award for Driving Lessons, which also won the special jury prize.

Jens Harzer won the festival's award for best actor, for his role in the German film Running On Empty.

The Moscow International Film Festival was first held in 1935 and has been an annual event since 1995.

Around 200 films were shown this year, although there was only one Russian entry, Alexei Muradov's The Worm.

The jury was chaired by Polish director Andrzej Zulawski, and also included British Oscar-winner Julie Christie.

Depardieu received his award for outstanding achievement in his career and devotion to the methods of Russian actor Constantin Stanislavsky.

The French actor paid tribute to Russia, saying he had "always had a good feeling for the soul of the Russian people, maybe because I learned to read with Dostoevsky".

However, he said he had abandoned his efforts to make a film in the country.

"Since 1989 I have tried to make films in Moscow," he said. "After perhaps 10 attempts with directors and producers nothing ever got off the ground, so I got a bit tired of it".


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