Rust and Bone named best picture at London fest

Plus: Leona Lewis to attend Chequered Flag Ball, Colbert hints at Hobbit cameo, Obama offers Jay-Z parenting advice and Stephen King surprises Canadian students.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: (L-R) Filmmaker Jacques Audiard, actress Marion Cotillard and actor Matthias Schoenaerts attend the premiere of 'Rust and Bone' during the 56th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon West End on October 13, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)
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Rust and Bone, a soaring story of love, loss and killer whales by the French filmmaker Jacques Audiard (pictured), was named best picture at the London Film Festival on Saturday. The movie is a melodrama thriller about the unlikely relationship between a boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts) and a whale trainer (Marion Cotillard). The American director Benh Zeitlin took the best debut feature prize with his atmospheric bayou saga Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won a Jury Award at the recent Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The trophy for best British newcomer went to Sally El Hosaini for My Brother the Devil, the story of British-Egyptian brothers struggling with conflicting loyalties and identities in modern-day London. Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter - real-life partners as well as creative collaborators - received career honours known as British Film Institute Fellowships. * AP

Leona Lewis to attend Chequered Flag Ball

The British singer Leona Lewis will be one of the special guests at the Chequered Flag Ball in Abu Dhabi on November 2. The ball, held at the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, will also be attended by the American R&B singer Jocelyn Brown. Lewis will grace the red carpet and rub shoulders with other guests during the night, before enjoying the rest of the F1 weekend. "I was meant to travel to Abu Dhabi a couple of years ago but unfortunately that didn't happen so I've really been looking forward to getting this chance to come," Lewis said in a statement. For ticketing details, call 04 445 6842 or visit * The National staff

Colbert hints at Hobbit cameo

The outspoken TV presenter Stephen Colbert is reportedly set for a small role in the forthcoming Hobbit film trilogy. The host of The Colbert Report had visited director Peter Jackson's movie shoot in New Zealand. In press interviews, he suggested he had been more than a mere guest on set. Asked if he was appearing in the movie, Colbert replied: "Could be." The first of the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will hit cinemas on December 14. * The National staff

Obama offers Jay-Z parenting advice

In an interview with a Cleveland radio station on Saturday, US President Barack Obama was asked what he and avid supporter Jay-Z talk about. Obama replied he gives the rapper parenting advice. "I made sure Jay-Z was helping Beyoncé out [with the baby] and not leaving it all with the mom and mother-in-law." Jay-Z and Beyoncé have appeared in campaign events and videos for Obama. "They're down to earth," Obama said. " Beyoncé could not be sweeter to Michelle and the girls. So they're good friends. We talk about the same things I talk about with all my friends." * The National staff

Stephen King surprises Canadian students

The horror master Stephen King made a surprise, pre-Halloween weekend visit to a Canadian high school, shocking students when he turned up. The appearance follows a year-long campaign to get the author to visit the school. King provided writing tips to students and spoke about his experience as a high schoolteacher. Matthew Beyer, a 12th-grade student, told the Kings County Record: "It was absolutely insane. It was quite a shock" when students walked into the library and King was standing there. * AP