A Romanian film about an illegal abortion has won the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival.

Directed by Christian Mungiu, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days  or 4 Luni, 3 Saptamini si 2 Zile in its native tongue  is the first Romanian movie to ever win the top prize at the illustrious film festival.

An international panel of judges led by Oscar-nominated British director Stephen Frears judged the film the best out of a shortlist of 22, which included previous Palme d'Or winners.

Joel and Ethan Coen's nihilistic western No Country for Old Men had been tipped by many to win the festival's coveted prize, as had Deathproof by Quentin Tarantino.

In 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, two students wrestle with an unwanted pregnancy in the last days of communist Romania.

The film's lead Anamaria Marinca has also received much praise during the 12-day festival, which this year marked its 60th anniversary.

The Palme d'Or (the Golden Palm) is the highest prize given to competing films at Cannes.

Previous winners include Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, and Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese.

In 2006 English director Ken Loach won the Palme d'Or with The Wind that Shakes the Barley, but no British films made the competition's shortlist of 22 this year.

27/05/2007 20:22:06