21 Feb 2010

Polanski wins Berlin Film Festival award

2:10 pm on 21 February 2010

Veteran film director Roman Polanski has won the award for best director at the Berlin Film Festival for his political thriller The Ghost Writer.

Polanski could not accept the award in person as he is under house arrest in Switzerland and fighting extradition to the US over a conviction for having sex with a minor in 1977.

He was detained when he travelled to Zurich to receive a prize.

Accepting the best director award on Saturday, his producer, Alain Sarde, said Polanski would be "very happy" with the honour.

Last week, Switzerland said it would not decide whether to extradite the 76-year-old until an appeal over his US trial was resolved.

Turkish film Bal was the surprise winner of the coveted Golden Bear for best picture at the festival, the BBC reports.