The director has been awarded with France’s prestigious Louis Delluc prize for his Mysteres De Lisbonne.

Raoul Ruiz’s latest work is a 4 and a half hour melodrama that sheds light on disparate characters in 19th century Europe. Lea Seydoux and Melvil Poupaud star. Producer Paolo Branco accepted the award on Ruiz’ behalf in Paris on Friday.

The other films making the Delluc shortlist included Olivier Assayas’ Carlos – currently picking up critics prizes in the US along with a Golden Globe and a SAG nomination; Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods And Men, which is France’s entry for the foreign language Oscar this year; Bertrand Tavernier’s La Princesse De Montpensier and Roman Polanski’s European Film Award-winning The Ghost Writer.

The Louis Delluc prize for best first film went to Rebecca Zlotowski’s Belle Epine, a portrait of a young woman following the sudden death of her mother. Lea Seydoux also stars in Belle Epine.