British actress Sally Hawkins picked up the award for best actress at the Berlin Film Festival.

Hawkins was rewarded for her role in Mike Leigh's comedy Happy-Go-Lucky.

The Elite Squad, a story about corrupt police officers in Brazil, won the Golden Bear for best film at the festival.

Also, Iranian actor Reza Naji walked away with best actor award for his performance in The Song of Sparrow.

And US director Paul Thomas Anderson won the Silver Bear for best director for, Oscar favourite, There Will Be Blood.

Hawkins, 31, is a well-known British television actress, appearing in Little Britain as well as Tipping the Velvet.

She also appeared in Mike Leigh's film Vera Drake.

The Berlin Film Festival is one of a series of traditional industry events that take place leading up to the Oscars.

On February 10th La Vie en Rose was the surprise main winner at the BAFTAS, with Marion Cotillard winning best actress.

The Academy Awards are due to take place on February 24th.

17/02/2008 11:24:37