Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 7 May 2015

Frears emotional over Odessa award

Stephen Frears was given the Golden Duke Lifetime Achievement Award at the Odessa Film Festival
Stephen Frears was given the Golden Duke Lifetime Achievement Award at the Odessa Film Festival

Stephen Frears has been awarded the Golden Duke Lifetime Achievement Award by the Odessa International Film Festival.

The Philomena director was given the special honour during the opening ceremony of the event, reported Screen Daily.

The 73-year-old filmmaker, who is also behind films like The Queen, Tamara Drewe, High Fidelity and My Beautiful Launderette, said the invitation to come to Odessa, Ukraine, reminded him of a piece by Ukrainian writer Isaac Babel, who described the Black Sea port as "a gangster town".

"And then I wanted to come!" he said, adding: "I've never been to a city so beautiful."

The film festival, now in its fifth year, is dedicating a homage to the British director, who gave a master class at the parallel Summer School.

He also attended an open-air screening of his latest film Philomena, starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, on the city's Lanzheron Descent steps.

The Odessa International Film Festival runs until July 19.

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