The director, whose 127 Hours is closing the festival, was presented with a BFI Fellowship at tonight’s awards ceremony by fellow director Stephen Daldry. Also on hand was Martin Scorsese, who paid tribute to the BFI National Archive. As for the winners, jury president Patricia Clarkson presented director Alexei Popogrebsky the Best Film award for the isolation-themed How I Ended This Summer. Andy Serkis presented the Best British Newcomer award to Clio Barnard, director of The Arbor, about playwright Andrea Dunbar. And Barnard also won this year’s Sutherland Award for most original and imaginative feature debut, presented by jurors Michael Winterbottom and Olivia Williams. Armadillo won Best Documentary. Other guests at the ceremony, held at LSO St. Luke’s, home of the London Symphony Orchestra, included ex-BBC Director General Greg Dyke and screenwriter Tony Grisoni.
Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, Joanna Hogg’s Archipelago, Alexei Popgrebsky’s How I Ended This Summer, Kelly Reichhardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men, Catherine Breillat’s The Sleeping Beauty and Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives are also competing. It’s the 2nd year that the BFI London Film Festival has run an awards ceremony. Actress Patricia Clarkson chairs this year’s Best Film jury, which includes actor Gabriel Byrne, costumier Sandy Powell and director Shekhar Kapur. Jacques Audiard’s powerful crime drama, won Best Film last year.
Best British Newcomer will choose from writer/director Richard Ayoade (Submarine), writer/director Clio Barnard (The Arbor), producer Michelle Eastwood (In Our Name), actor Conor McCarron (Neds), producer Tracy O’Riordan (The Arbor), actor Craig Roberts (Submarine),actress Manjinder Virk (The Arbor) and writer/director Brian Walsh (In Our Name). Producer Andrea Calderwood, director Antonia Bird, actor David Morrissey, screenwriter Tony Grisoni and Mike Goodridge, editor of trade mag Screen International will decide this award.
Danny Boyle is to be given a BFI Fellowship during the fest. Actor John Hurt and celebrated world filmmaker Souleymane Cissé were recognised in 2009.
Debuts competing for the Sutherland Award for most original and innovative first feature are: Clio Bernard’s The Arbor, Phan Dang Di’s Don’t Be Afraid, Bi!, Michael Rowe’s Leap Year, Katell Quillievere’s Love Like Poison, Mikhaël Hers’ Memory Lane, Daniel Vega and Diego Vega’s October, Philip Koch’s Picco, JB Ghuman Jr’s Spork, Richard …
The BFI London Film Festival has announced the rest of its galas and sidebars on top of opening film Never Let Me Go and closing film 127 Hours. The festival has added a diverse roster of films ranging from the award-tipped The King’s Speech, with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter to Darren Aronofsky’s rave reviewed Black Swan. Over 16 days the festival will screen a total of 197 features and 112 shorts, including 11 world, 23 international and 33 European premieres. The fest runs from October 13-28.
Julianne Moore, Colin Firth, Hilary Swank, Natalie Portman, Helena Bonham Carter, Naomie Harris, Julian Schnabel and Christy Turlington Burns will be coming to London to promote their movies.
GALAS & SPECIAL SCREENINGS
The King’s Speech, with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter; Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, with Natalie Portman; Mike Leigh’s Another Year; Neds, directed by Peter Mullan; The Kids Are Alright, starring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening; and Cannes Palme D’Or winner, Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Other highlights include Conviction, starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful starring Javier Bardem; West Is West, the follow up to East is East; Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men; and Julian Schnabel’s Miral with Freida Pinto. In The First Grader an 84-year-old Kenyan finally starts school, and Africa United features a group of youngsters who trek across Africa to reach the World Cup.
FILM ON …
Danny Boyle’s film starring James Franco will close the 54th BFI London Film Festival on October 28th. The thriller depicts the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s attempt to save himself after a falling boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. 127 HOURS is a Pathé, Fox Searchlight Pictures, and Film4 presentation in association with Warner Bros Pictures of a Cloud Eight/Decibel Films /Darlow Smithson production. Sandra Hebron, the Festival’s Artistic Director comments: “It is unprecedented for us to choose a Closing Night film from the same director only two years later. But 127 HOURS was the obvious choice for us – with filmmaking as bold and adventurous as its subject matter, it confirms Danny Boyle as one of the World’s finest and most visionary directors.” Danny Boyle comments, “LFF played a vital role in the journey of Slumdog Millionaire in 2008 and it’s great to be bringing new work here and renewing a happy partnership. I can’t wait to unveil the new film and I hope it provides a worthy climax to what will hopefully be two weeks of great movies for our city.” The Festival runs from October 13-28.