The BFI’s London Film Festival is sadly drawing to a close and thus this evening saw it’s high profile awards ceremony, recognising some of the best efforts of this year.
Winner of the Best Film went to Lynne Ramsay’s harrowing Drama We Need to Talk About Kevin. The award was presented by judges Gillian Anderson and John Madden who commented:
“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.”
Another British winner was Candese Reid who won the Best British Newcomer Award for her role in Junkhearts. In it she plays a troubled teenage girl who is taken off the streets by an ex-soldier played by Eddie Marsan. Her performance is engrossing, creating a character void of stereotype. The award was presented by Edgar Wright and Minnie Driver, and she received a £5,000 bursary 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.”
The Sutherland Award is given to the director of the feature debut which stands out most as an original and accomplished work. Argentinian director Pablo Giorgelli took the award for his film Las Acacias, and 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.”
The winner of the Grierson award for best documentary went to Werner Herzog for Into The Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life, a truly powerful piece of filmmaking.
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 who also starred in Method.
Ralph Fiennes, was also presented with a Fellowship, from fellow actor and friend Liam Neeson. His directing debut, Coriolanus has screened at the festival, a modern retelling of the Shakespeare classic.
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.’