BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2011 AWARD WINNERS
London – 10.30pm, 26 October 2011: The 55th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express announced the winners at its high profile awards ceremony, supported by Montblanc at London’s LSO St Luke’s this evening. Hosted by Marcus Brigstocke, the four awards were presented by some of the most respected figures in the film world.
BEST FILM: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, directed by Lynne Ramsay
Celebrating the most original, intelligent and distinctive filmmaking in the Festival, the Best Film award, presented in partnership with American Express, was chaired by John Madden who presented the award with fellow judge Gillian Anderson.
On behalf of the jury John Madden (Chair) said: “This year’s shortlist for Best Film comprises work that is outstanding in terms of its originality and its stylistic reach. It is an international group, one united by a common sense of unflinching human enquiry and we were struck by the sheer panache displayed by these great storytellers. In the end, we were simply bowled over by one film, a sublime, uncompromising tale of the torment that can stand in the place of love. We Need to Talk About Kevin is made with the kind of singular vision that links great directors across all the traditions of cinema.”
BEST BRITISH NEWCOMER: Candese Reid, actress, Junkhearts
This award is presented in partnership with Swarovski and honours new and emerging film talent, recognising the achievements of a new writer, producer, director, actor or actress. The award for Best British Newcomer was presented by Edgar Wright and Minnie Driver to Candese Reid, for her acting role in Junkhearts, a sophisticated, social drama about hope and the search for redemption. Starting acting at the age of nine, she joined Nottingham’s prestigious Television Workshop, and her role in Junkhearts, at the age of 18, was her first professional acting role. Candese also received a bursary of £5,000 courtesy of Swarovski
Chair of the Best British Newcomer jury, Andy Harries said, “Candese is a fresh, brilliant and exciting new talent. Every moment she was on screen was compelling.”
SUTHERLAND AWARD WINNER: Pablo Giorgelli, director of LAS ACACIAS
The long-standing Sutherland Award is presented to the director of the most original and imaginative feature debut in the Festival. This year, Argentinian director Pablo Giorgelli took the award for his film Las Acacias, a slow-burning, uplifting and enchanting story of a truck driver and his passengers. The director received his Star of London from film director Terry Gilliam.
The jury commented: “In a lively and thoughtful jury room debate, Las Acacias emerged as a worthy winner, largely because of the originality of its conception. Finely judged performances and a palpable sympathy for his characters makes this a hugely impressive debut for director Pablo Giorgelli.”
GRIERSON AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY: INTO THE ABYSS: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life directed by Werner Herzog
The award is co-presented with the Grierson Trust, in commemoration of John Grierson, the grandfather of British documentary. Recognising outstanding feature length documentaries of integrity, originality, technical excellence or cultural significance, the jury was chaired by Adam Curtis and the award went to Werner Herzog’s coruscating study of the senselessness of violence and its consequences.
BFI FELLOWSHIP: Ralph Fiennes and David Cronenberg (as previously announced)
Awarded to an individual whose body of work has made an outstanding contribution to film culture, the Fellowship is the highest accolade that the British Film Institute bestows and was awarded to Canadian auteur David Cronenberg whose film A Dangerous Method premiered at the Festival on Monday. The Fellowship was presented by Jeremy Thomas and Michael Fassbender.
Ralph Fiennes, one of Britain’s pre-eminent actors, who has just made a bold and critically well received transition to film directing with his festival film Coriolanus, was also presented with a Fellowship, this time from fellow actor and personal friend Liam Neeson.
Greg Dyke, Chair, BFI said: ‘The BFI London Film Festival Awards pay tribute to outstanding film talent, so we are delighted and honoured that both Ralph Fiennes, one of the world’s finest and most respected actors and David Cronenberg, one of the most original and ground-breaking film directors of contemporary cinema, have both accepted BFI Fellowships – the highest accolade the BFI can bestow. I also want to congratulate all the filmmakers and industry professionals here tonight, not only on their nominations and awards, but also for their vision, skill, passion and creativity.’
The Star of London award was commissioned especially for the Festival and designed by leading sculptor Almuth Tebbenhoff.
Jurors present at the ceremony included: Best Film jurors John Madden, Andrew O’Hagan. Gillian Anderson, Asif Kapadia, Tracey Seaward and Sam Taylor-Wood OBE; Sutherland jurors Tim Robey, Joanna Hogg, Saskia Reeves, Peter Kosminsky, Hugo Grumbar, and the artist Phil Collins. Best British Newcomer jurors Anne-Marie Duff, Tom Hollander, Edith Bowman, Stephen Woolley and Nik Powell; and Grierson Award jurors Mandy Chang of the Grierson Trust, Charlotte Moore, Head of Documentary Commissioning at BBC, Kim Longinotto and Adam Curtis.
Other guests included: Alfonso Cuarón , Sheharazade Goldsmith, Duncan Kenworthy, Aaron Johnson, Paul Gambaccini, Chair of the BFI Greg Dyke, Chief Executive Amanda Nevill and Festival Director Sandra Hebron.
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Edited footage from the ceremony will be available from the following ftp site from 11.00am on Thursday 27th October
Notes to Editors
About the BFI
The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
- Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
- Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
- Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
- Promoting British film and talent to the world
- Growing the next generation of filmmakers and audiences
The BFI London Film Festival
The BFI London Film Festival champions creativity, originality, vision and imagination by annually showcasing the best of contemporary world cinema, documentaries, shorts, animation and experimental film. The BFI London Film Festival is a highly regarded and anticipated event in Europe’s cultural calendar, attracting leading international filmmakers, industry professionals and the media together with large public audiences to London for a two week showcase of the best in contemporary world cinema.
Last year’s Festival hosted 201 feature films and 112 short films from 68 countries including 34 world premieres. There were 629 filmmakers in attendance, drawing the highest ever audience attendance of over 132,000 filmgoers. The Festival opened with the European Premiere of NEVER LET ME GO and closed with the European Premiere of 127 HOURS.
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About American Express – sponsor of Best Film award
American Express is Principal Sponsor of the internationally recognised and respected BFI London Film Festival, and supporter of the BFI’s year-round cultural programme. The partnership builds on the company’s heritage in film as founding sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival and regular supporter of the Sundance Film Festival, and supports the BFI’s own objective of making a wide choice of British and world cinema available in the UK.
American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travellers Cheques, travel and insurance products. The American Express award winning ‘Preferred Seating Programme’ provides Cardmembers with access to some of the best seats and exclusive experiences at many of the country’s most sought after music concerts, film premieres and other entertainment events, often before they go on sale to the general public. The company has multi – year partnerships with a range of entertainment institutions including AEG Live, Ticketmaster, Live Nation and the British Film Institute. For full details, or to sign up to receive the free eNewsletters visit amex.co.uk/access
About Montblanc – supporter of the Awards
Montblanc has been a leading name in the luxury brand market for nearly a century. Having been celebrated for generations as the paramount creator of writing instruments, Montblanc have since expanded their range in order to offer exquisite watches, leather pieces, jewellery, fragrance and eyewear. Synonymous for the very highest writing culture, MONTBLANC has followed lasting values such as quality and traditional craftsmanship since the company was founded in 1906. Due to its origin in the writing culture, Montblanc has made a special commitment to artistic and communicative advancement by promoting many different international activities that each contribute in their own way to the cultural life of society.
Montblanc is sponsoring the BFI London Film Festival Awards for the first time, cementing its ongoing support and appreciation of the world of film and the arts. Each year Montblanc launches a Limited Edition writing instrument honouring one of the great characters of all time. This year, Montblanc is paying homage to the great filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock, whose early silent films the BFI is currently restoring in time for the London Olympics. Montblanc revealed the Alfred Hitchcock Limited Edition writing instrument at this year’s Awards. Following the special preview, the Hitchcock Limited Edition writing instrument has been exclusively launched in the UK and will subsequently be launched in the rest of the world in 2012.
Montblanc presented the winners of this year’s BFI Fellowship: Ralph Fiennes and David Cronenberg with a limited edition writing instrument. The fountain pen, limited to 3000, is made of sterling silver, with a swirling lacquer effect inspired by Vertigo, a knife-shaped clip inspired by Psycho, notes in the style of the original Psycho film reel on the cap ring, hatch marks on the cone in tribute to his 53 films, and a rhodium-plated 18K gold nib with self-portrait.
About Swarovski – sponsor of Best British Newcomer award
From the early days of Hollywood, Swarovski has worked hand in hand with costume and set designers, creating show-stopping jewels, costumes and sets that capture the spotlight. The company’s reputation for the largest variety of the finest cut crystal is unchallenged on and off the silver screen, adorning classics including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Wizard of Oz, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and more recently The Young Victoria, NINE, Burlesque, Black Swan, Thor and Water for Elephants.
Swarovski Entertainment is Swarovski’s new division that develops and produces films both independently and in cooperation with chosen industry partners. Swarovski Entertainment’s films are imaginative, thought-provoking and story-driven, with inspiring, uplifting and transformative plots that speak to a global audience.
About Almuth Tebbenhoff – Sculptor of the “Star of London” award
Almuth Tebbenhoff works mainly in steel, clay, and increasingly, marble. She was born in Fürstenau in north-west Germany but in 1969, she moved to England where she has remained ever since. She studied ceramics at the Sir John Cass School of Art from 1972 to 1975 and following that, she set up a studio in London and for the next six years made studio ceramics, while she developed her ideas for sculpture. In 1981, Almuth established her Southfields studio in a former church hall. At first she worked in clay and wood, but in 1986 she started a two-year course in metal fabrication at South Thames College, London