MUMBAI: The fantasy film Pan‘s Labyrinth, a gothic fairy tale set against the post civil war repression in Spain, has been named the winner of UK punbcaster BBC Four World Cinema Award 2008.
Mexican director Guillermo del Toro flew in from Paris to collect the award from Catherine Deneuve at a ceremony held at the BFI Southbank in London.
Del Toro said, "I am very humbled by the competition and the nominations so I am very happy to have won this award. I am extremely thankful because world cinema seems to be not only about geography of the world out there, but about charting the world within us. Very often people think that the only way to tell the truth is through reality. So I find, by my own experience, irreality is sometimes a better tool to tell the truth."
The film unfolds through the eyes of Ofelia, a little girl who is uprooted to a rural military outpost commanded by her new stepfather. Powerless and lonely in a place of unfathomable cruelty, Ofelia lives out her own dark fable as she confronts monsters - both other worldly and human.
The film has already picked up a number of international awards, including three Academy Awards and three Baftas.
The award ceremony, hosted by Jonathan Ross and sponsored by Pioneer, will be broadcast on BBC Four on 2 February.
Pan‘s Labyrinth was chosen from a shortlist of five by a panel of judges comprising Christopher Eccleston, Nick Broomfield and Archie Panjabi.