The BBC decided to ban the film from television screening (it was finally shown in 1985) because of its disturbing content (and its outspoken anti-war sentiment). The film was allowed a limited theatrical release, however, and won a special prize at the Venice Film Festival (1966), an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature (1967), and a BAFTA film award (1967).
Following the controversy regarding The War Game, Watkins' filmmaking career turned stormy. It became increasingly difficult for him to find work, and his films often met with underhanded attacks or widespread indifference. Despite this, he has managed to produce many remarkable and rigorous films, often with no assistance from national film or television agencies.
While Edvard Munch and The War Game remain his best known works to date, his recent films like LA COMMUNE (Paris, 1871) was hailed by J. Hoberman of The Village Voice as, "An intellectually challenging and tremendously moving experience, as history replayed among its contemporary ruins. LA COMMUNE is meant to evoke the unfamiliar sensation of revolutionary euphoria, or living (and dying) in a sacred time."
He has continued his film-making career in Scandinavia, the U.S. and France. His sporadic cinematic output has been combined with fierce public attacks on the general media situation. Peter Watkins currently lives in Lithuania.