Loveless took home four awards Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival
Director Andrey Zvyagintsev's film about an unhappy family also won the gongs for Best Music (Evgeny Galperin) and Best Cinematography (Mikhail Krichman), with the awards picked up by producer Alexander Rodnyansky.
Although there was much to celebrate about the awards, which featured films from 33 countries as diverse as Azerbaijan, Israel, Poland, Estonia and Turkmenistan, there was a sombre note regarding the current state of world politics, with more than one of the participants stressing that dialogue - both cultural and otherwise - between the East and West has never been more important.
There was also a standing moment of remembrance for director Miloš Forman, whose death had been announced earlier in the day.
The award for Best Screenplay was shared by Ildikó Enyedi for On Body And Soul, her story of quirky romance between two abattoir workers who share dreams and Boris Khlebnikov and Natalya Meshchaninova for their tale of a paramedic whose relationship and job are on the brink in Arrhythmia.
The acting awards were dominated by Kantemir Balagov's debut film Closeness, about a family struggling after a kidnapping, with Darya Zhovner taking home Best Actress for her role as the conflicted tomboy Ila at the film's heart and Olga Dragunova given the award for Best Supporting Actress for her strong performance as Ila's mother.
Bogdan Dumitrache added to his acting awards for Romanian child disappearance drama Pororoca when he pick up the lead gong, with Alexey Serebryankov winning Best Supporting Actor for his role as an incapacitated dad who goes on a blackly comic road trip with his estranged son in How Viktor “the Garlic” Took Alexey “the Stud” To The Nursing Home.
The Best Production Design award went to Jaagup Roomet and Matis Mäesalu for their work on Rainer Sarnet's black and white, myth-steeped drama November, an Estonia, Polish and Dutch co-production.
Two special awards were also given on the night, one, The Star of Eurasia, recognised the career of Serbian star Mirjana Karanovic (A Good Wife, Requiem For Mrs J), who was surprised and thrilled to win the award, while the second was given to Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi (A Year Of The Quiet Sun, Camouflage) For Contribution To Cinema.
The 24 jurors, including myself, came from 17 different countries, including India, Brazil, America and Turkey.