Canadian David Cronenberg's second collaboration with Lord Of The Rings star Viggo Mortensen has netted the pair the prestigious audience prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Eastern Promises, which stars Mulholland Drive's Naomi Watts alongside Mortensen, won the Cadillac People's Choice award after picking up the most votes from festival audiences.

The film has been well-received by critics and tells the story of a gangster involved with the Russian mob in London who brushes up against an innocent midwife. It follows the pair's previous collaboration, A History of Violence.

Cronenberg told the Kansas City Star newspaper that he believed his similarities with Mortensen drove their creative partnership.

"He has a wonderful sense of humor that is bizarrely similar to my own. We're more like brothers, really, and that makes for a very close artistic collaboration," he explained.

"It's not something you have to have to make a movie, but I do believe it gives us a much higher platform from which to launch."

Eastern Promises beat stiff competition from Jason Reitman's Juno and Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro's Body of War to win the prize.

The Toronto festival's Fipresci prize, awarded by international critics, went to Rodrigo Pla's La Zona.

16/09/2007 12:12:46