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U.K. journalists vote for ‘Labyrinth’

Regional press show they are not provincial in attitude

LONDON — The U.K.’s regional film journalists have named “Pan’s Labyrinth” as their film of the year and feted its Mexican director Guillermo del Toro as their filmmaker of the year in their inaugural film awards, announced Tuesday.

The result runs counter to the widely held perception that challenging, foreign-language fare such as “Pan’s Labyrinth” is less well-received in the regions than in London.

Best actor and actress kudos went to more predictable recipients — Oscar favorites Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”) and Helen Mirren (“The Queen”).

Abigail Breslin scooped the newcomer of the year prize for her turn in “Little Miss Sunshine.”

The awards have been set up by Cinema Days, a body backed by U.K. distribs. The org arranges thrice-annual trade events for regional journalists.

The journalists, including critics, writers and editors, staff or freelance, voted online between Jan. 12 and Jan. 30.

“Pan’s Labyrinth” has been a sleeper hit at the U.K. box office, grossing $4.7 million through Optimum Releasing.

Roughly three-quarters of all U.K. cinema admissions come from outside the London region.

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