Zar Amir Ebrahimi, an Iranian actres

who lives in exile after a smear campaign about her love life,  

cried tears of delight as she received the best actress prize at the

Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. 

 Ebrahimi, 41, took up the award for "Holy Spider," in which

she plays a journalist attempting to uncover a

serial murder of prostitutes in Mashhad's holy city

I've travelled a long way to be here tonight

 It wasn't an easy story to tell "At the awards presentation

she told the crowd. She claimed that cinema had "saved" her

"There was shame, but there was cinema; alone

but there was cinema; darkness, but there was film.

"Holy Spider," directed by Danish-Iranian Ali Abbasi, is based on the true story of a 

working-class guy known as the "Spider Killer"