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 …