'Once', the John Carney-directed musical which stars The Frames frontman Glen Hansard and Czech singer Marketa Irglova, has won the inaugural Dublin International Film Festival Audience Award.

The film, which was shot in Dublin with hand-held digital cameras, also won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the recent Sundance Film Festival and has acquired US distribution.

It tells the story of two singers who fall in love in Dublin over the course of a week, as they write, rehearse and record songs.

Commenting on winning the DIFF Audience Award, director John Carney said: "I'm delighted that our film, which was shot on the streets of Dublin, and was in many ways an attempt to portray a slice of Dublin life, has been acknowledged in its home town."

He continued: "I hope it goes some way to encouraging young directors to hit the streets with their cameras and shoot their own stories in their own way. There's something very satisfying about having made a small, personal story that has pleased people, and we're all thrilled with the audience award."

Produced and financed by Samson Films with the assistance of the Irish Film Board and RTÉ, 'Once' goes on release in Irish cinemas on 23 March.

The film's stars Hansard and Irglova also collaborated on the album 'The Swell Season'.

Read the review of 'The Swell Season' here.