A SCOTTISH director last night popped the first of two bottles of celebratory champagne after winning the jury prize in Cannes for his short film, Daddy's Girl.

Irvine Allan, 44, was not in Cannes to receive the award because his partner, Annie George, who plays a Good Samaritan in the film, is due to give birth to their first child.

Allan said last night from Edinburgh: ''I'm absolutely thrilled and delighted. It's better than winning an Oscar. It's such an honour. I'm trembling about it all. Just to be shortlisted was enough in itself.

''Annie is expecting a baby at any moment. It was too close so I had to decide whether it was Daddy's Girl over there or daddy's girl over here. I decided it was more important to be with my family.''

Allan, from Dunoon, also paid tribute to John Maley who wrote Daddy's Girl, about a girl who is befriended by a friendly passer-by while sitting outside a pub waiting for her father who is inside drinking. The 10-minute film was seen last year at the Edinburgh Film Festival and was made with the help of BBC2 and Scottish Screen.

The top award, the Palme d'Or, went to Italian Nanni Moretti, for his film La Stanza Del Figlio (The Son's Room).