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Deneuve Gets Praise at Film Fest

A still from “Junkhearts,” praised as a “film of the future” by the head of the film festival’s jury, Hector Babenco.

The British film "Junkhearts" won the Golden St. George, the main prize at the Moscow Film Festival, which came to an end Saturday, in a glamorous if clumsy red carpet gala awards ceremony featuring star guest Catherine Deneuve.

The ceremony marked the end of the 10-day festival, which saw more than 1,000 films shown and 60,000 viewers, according to festival head Nikita Mikhalkov.

"Junkhearts" tells the tale of an ex-soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and a drinking problem who makes friends with a homeless girl. Actor Eddie Marsan, who plays the soldier, won the Silver St. George for best actor.

"I am sure that this is a film of the future and the future starts today," said the head of the film jury, Brazilian director Hector Babenco, Russian news agencies reported.

The award ceremony ended on an embarrassing note, however, when it seemed that the new culture minister failed to hand over an honorary award to the legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve on Saturday.

Vladimir Medinsky, the controversial new culture minister, came on stage to present the Stanislavsky Special Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Career of Acting to the actress.

Deneuve is worthy of this award like no other, Medinsky said in his speech. "Viewers always believe in the dramatic and tragic roles that she brings to life on the screen." However, instead of handing her the award, he walked off with it after Deneuve had made her speech. Medinsky later wrote on Twitter that he had taken the 5-kilogram award at Deneuve's request, as she was already carrying a large bouquet of flowers.

Deneuve later returned to the stage before the showing of "Les Bien-Aimes" or "The Beloved," a musical directed by Christophe Honore and starring both Deneuve and her daughter Chiara Mastroianni, only for host Igor Vernik to ask if she would have liked to appear in the film.

Deneuve responded by saying "Actually, I am in the film."

Festival officials shrugged off the incident. Deneuve sat next to Medinsky at the official dinner after the ceremony, said Kirill Razlogov, the festival's program director, Itar-Tass reported.

"Deneuve is an experienced person in these kind of things and it is unlikely that such a confusion could annoy her," Razlogov said.

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