Asif Kapadia's well-received The Warrior has scooped the Golden Hitchcock at the Dinard Festival Of British Film, which carries a $2,805 (FF20,000) award to aid distribution in France and a $1,400 (FF10,000) grant to the director.
Jury president Emily Watson hailed the India-set adventure story as one that had opened "a new door. It has great simplicity, but great ambition".
Having previously screened at Edinburgh, the film has established Kapadia as a talent to watch and has sold widely, including a North American deal with Miramax.
Other jury members at the festival, held Oct 4-7, included UK actors Gary Lewis, Emily Woof, Daniel Craig and Adrian Dunbar, as well as director Michel Alexandre, and journalist Jean Claude Narcy.
John Carney's drama On The Edge, starring Cillian Murphy, Martin Carney and Stephen Rea, won the audience award at the 12th edition of the festival, which is co-sponsored by the Film Council, along with the British Council and French film body, CNC.
On The Edge, shot by Eric Alan Edwards, also won the Kodak prize for cinematography.
The jury also gave a special mention to The Lawless Heart, co-written and co-directed by Neil Hunter and Tom Hunsinger, which has previously screened at Edinburgh and Locarno.
Other films in competition included Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, directed by Stewart Sugg, Late Night Shopping, directed by Saul Metzstein and Sandra Goldbacher's Me Without You.
The festival's signature event was a lengthy and well-attended two-part round table discussion between UK and French delegates held on Friday morning -- focusing on cultural and financial exchange between the two territories and development.
One of the key elements was the uncertainty surrounding future inward investment in the UK industry, and the need to improve the climate in the UK for the distribution and exhibition of foreign language and specialised titles. "The brutal truth is that UK audiences over the last 20 years have not been used to seeing foreign language films," said John Woodward. "There is a balance to be struck between public funding and audience [building]."
Cultural and professional exchange between producers from both sides of the Channel was a centre point of the festival - whether formally in the Film Council/CNC symposium, or unofficially on the golf courses of Brittany or in Dinard's numerous cafes and bars.
Local audiences also showed a strong presence at Dinard, with queues for some films - such as The Warrior and Me Without You - snaking down the street, even after the doors had been closed.
Talent at the event included Hugh Grant, in town to support Bridget Jones's Diary and Paul Bettany and Stellan Skarsgard for Kiss, Kiss Bang Bang. Directors at the event included Asif Kapadia, Sharon Maguire and Saul Metzstein.