"The Skin I Live In" (La piel que habito), directed by Pedro Almodovar, on Sunday evening won the British film industry's BAFTA award for Best Film Not in the English Language, beating out the night's great favorite, Iran's "The Separation."

This is the fifth BAFTA for the Spanish director, who won the prestigious award for "All About My Mother" in 1999 and another for "Talk to Her" in 2002, for best film in a language other than English and best screenwriting, respectively.

Almodovar did not attend the ceremony on Sunday evening in the Royal Opera House in this capital, and the presenter, Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, accepted the prize on his behalf, reading a gracious thank-you and acceptance message from the director.

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One of Almodovar's muses, actress Penelope Cruz, was present at the BAFTAs, however, and she was scheduled to present the award for best actor in a leading role.

The favorite in the best foreign language film had been "The Separation," the winner of the Golden Bear award in Berlin and a Golden Globe award, and which is also up for an Academy Award within the next two weeks.

The other films vying for best foreign film at the ceremony - often dubbed the British Oscars - were "Pina" by Wim Wenders and French films "Potiche" and "Incendies," the latter a drama set in the Middle East

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