AN EDINGTON family are celebrating after learning their filmmaker son has become the first Briton ever to win an award at the Mongolian Academy Awards.

Ever since Benjamin Johns began his career he has specialised in making films around the world, and he was delighted to scoop the title for his latest work, The Medicine Budda.

The film, which tells the story of the Mongolian Buddhist leader, Khamba Lama Natsagdorj, and his country, was named the Best Documentary Film title at the awards, which were presented in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator.

The film explores both faith and science and follows Lama’s eclectic, relentless humanitarian efforts, which include his work in the Manba Datsan Traditional Medicine Central

Hospital, and his life and work at the Manba Datsan Monastery and the Otoch Manramba University.

"Ben's in his 40s now and has been making films for over 20 years," his father Christopher said proudly. "He is an independent film maker focusing on films that have a strong social message.

"His mother Anne and I are very proud - and it's always nice to see him when he comes home to Edington."

Ben, a former pupil at both Lavington and Devizes Schools, said: “Shooting this film was an incredible experience, and it is a great honour to be the first British film maker to win this award. It has been a privilege and pleasure to tell the story of such a remarkable man’s life.

"I am looking forward to the film reaching audiences around the world. It was a very challenging film to make, shooting in temperatures down to minus 35 degrees and working with my cinematographer, Gerry Vasbenter (who was a camera operator on Lord of the Rings) to ensure that the equipment could function as well as the crew.

"The road trip to Lama’s remote homeland Zaykhan Province

was incredible and we were in the hands of local drivers and Lama’s powerful prayers to keep us safe on our journey. Mongolia is a wonderful country and the people are very friendly, warm and welcoming. The Nomadic Mongolian lifestyle is one of the purest forms in existence today."

Ben wrote the film's script, which is narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley, as well as directing the action during a four-week location shoot, followed by spending six months in Ulan Bator in post-production. It is now available for distribution worldwide.