John Michael McDonagh's "The Guard," starring Brendan Gleeson, has won the Guardian's First Film Award (in its fourth year). Guardian awards judge and film critic Peter Bradshaw says, "This was an exceptionally good year for debut work and our shortlist was packed with excellent work. It was a supremely difficult choice, but 'The Guard' won our hearts because of its fizzing originality and wit. It's great to see a comedy win this kind of prize." McDonagh (whose brother is playwright/screenwriter/director Martin McDonagh) says, “I’m really chuffed about it, to be honest." He mentions his competition, including "Snowtown" (one of his favorites of the year) and "Attack the Block ("probably the best British film of the year"), and says, "to come out on top, I’m pretty surprised and very pleased.”
Check out The Playlist and Indiewire's reviews of "The Guard."