The 61st BFI London Film Festival announced this year’s Festival Award-winners at its high profile Awards dinner, at Banqueting House, Whitehall. Hosted by James Nesbitt guests included Andrea Arnold, Hayley Atwell, Eric Bana, Jessie Buckley, Lily Cole, Jason Isaacs, Adrian Lester, Helen McCrory, Andrea Riseborough, Anya Taylor Joy and this year’s BFI Fellowship recipient, Paul Greengrass.
OFFICIAL COMPETITION WINNER – Best Film: LOVELESS, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia, France, Germany, Belgium)
Recognising inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking, the winner of the Best Film Award, went to Andrey Zvyagintsev’s LOVELESS, a powerful and eloquent film about a divorcing Russian couple whose son disappears.The award was announced by President of the Official Competition jury, previous Sutherland alumnus and Academy Award® and BAFTA-winning director Andrea Arnold.
Fellow jurors were the BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Babak Anvari; the actor Eric Bana whose latest film q at this year’s LFF.
This is the second time that Andrey Zvyagintsev has won the Best Film at BFI London Film Festival having previously received the award for LEVIATHAN in 2014 which subsequently went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film and was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA in the same category.
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION WINNER – The Sutherland Award: John Trengove for THE WOUND (South Africa)
The long-standing Sutherland Award is named after the first Chairman of the British Film Institute, George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland. The Sutherland Award is presented to the director of the most original and imaginative first feature in the Festival, and this year’s winner is John Trengove for THE WOUND, a powerful exploration of masculinity and unspoken queer desire set in the remote mountains of South Africa’s Eastern Cape.
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION WINNER – The Grierson Award: KINGDOM OF US , directed by Lucy Cohen (United Kingdom)
The Grierson Award for the Best Documentary recognises outstanding feature-length documentaries of integrity, originality, technical excellence or cultural significance. Lucy Cohen’s documentary feature debut is a luminous exploration of grief, identity, family bonds and emotional recovery.. The award was presented by the jury President, the BAFTA & Academy Award®-winning documentary producer, John Battsek.
SHORT FILM COMPETITION WINNER – Best Short Film Award: THE RABBIT HUNT directed by Patrick Bresnan (USA)
The Short Film Award is now in its third year at the Festival, and recognises short form works with a unique cinematic voice and a confident handling of chosen theme and content. Patrick Bresnan’s documentary short film THE RABBIT HUNT follows a family hunting rabbits in the sugarcane fields of the Florida Everglades during the harvest season. The Short Film award was presented by jury President, the Academy Award® and BAFTA-winning animation director and illustrator, Michael Dudok de Wit.
BFI 61st London Film Festival featured a selection of 243 features films in total, from 67 countries. The 12-day event highlighted the diverse talent from both new and established film makers. Amongst that talent Zambia-born Welsh director Nyoni’s de
but film I Am Not A Witch which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in Directors’ Fortnight, and has been shortlisted for the 50K IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award, for an emerging UK-based writer and/or director premiering their first or second feature at the London Film Festival (LFF).
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