The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing has become an early frontrunner for Oscar success after it received a top international film award.
The biopic, which depicts how the British mathematician cracked the Germans’ Enigma code, was named Best Picture at the Capri, Hollywood International Film Festival in Italy.
The movie’s director Morten Tyldum was also honoured, while British actor Timothy Spall was awarded Best Actor for his performance as painter JMW Turner in Mr Turner.
Fellow British star Brenda Blethyn received the lifetime achievement award for a career spanning 35 years, which has included starring roles in Oscar-nominated Secrets And Lies, and Little Voice.
Paying tribute to The Imitation Game, festival producer Pascal Vicedomini said: “This is an extraordinary work, an almost historical document narrating an unknown story, a tribute to a visionary genius who was persecuted and to whom we owe freedom in Europe.”
He added: “Capri, Hollywood was able to present the best of this cinematic season, many of which are contenders for year-end honours including the Golden Globes, the Baftas and the Academy Awards.”
Jennifer Aniston and Amy Adams tied for the best actress prize for the films Cake and Big Eyes respectively.
The Capri Hollywood International Film Festival is chaired by Italian director Lina Wertmuller, who became the first woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for directing for her 1976 film Seven Beauties.