The new Michael Madsen-starring Irish film 'Strength and Honour' has won the Best Picture and Best Actor awards at the Boston Film Festival.

It is the first time in the festival's history that a single film has received the Best Picture and Best Actor awards; previous winners of Best Picture at the festival include 'American Beauty' and 'Good Will Hunting'.

Written and directed by Cork filmmaker Mark Mahon, 'Strength and Honour' tells the story of an Irish-American boxer (Madsen) who promised his late wife he would never fight again having killed his friend in the ring.

However, when he discovers that his only son is dying of the same hereditary heart disorder that killed his wife, he is forced to go back on his promise and become a bare knuckle boxer in order to raise money for the boy's life-saving surgery.

The film was shot in Cork over seven weeks last autumn and also stars Patrick Bergin, Richard Chamberlain and Vinnie Jones.

Commenting on his film's festival success, director Mahon said: "This is a great honour. To win top awards at such a prestigious festival is surreal - competition was fierce this year with a large number of high profile titles competing." 

He continued: "We're absolutely ecstatic that Michael Madsen won for his superb lead performance and look forward to the theatrical release of 'Strength and Honour'.

'Strength and Honour' will be released in Irish cinemas on 30 November.