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60th BFI London Film Festival 2016: Award Winners

The 60th BFI London Film Festival announced the winners of this year’s Festival Awards during a ceremony hosted by Michael Sheen at Banqueting House, Whitehall, on the evening of 15th October. In a vibrant year for cinema, the 2016 Best Film Award went to Kelly Reichardt’s CERTAIN WOMEN, the impeccable study of the lives of three very different women in Montana. The award was announced by the President of the Official Competition jury, Athina Rachel Tsangari, whose film Chevalier won the LFF Best Film prize in 2015.

The 60th BFI London Film Festival announced the winners of this year’s Festival Awards during a ceremony hosted by Michael Sheen at Banqueting House, Whitehall, on the evening of 15th October. In a vibrant year for cinema, the 2016 Best Film Award went to Kelly Reichardt’s CERTAIN WOMEN, the impeccable study of the lives of three very different women in Montana. The award was announced by the President of the Official Competition jury, Athina Rachel Tsangari, whose film Chevalier won the LFF Best Film prize in 2015.

Best Film Award, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women
Best Film Award, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women

Other winners were Julia Ducournau, for RAW, who won the Sutherland Award, presented to the director of the most original and imaginative first feature in the Festival; STARLESS DREAMS, directed, produced and written by Mehrdad Oskouei, received the Grierson Award, which recognises outstanding feature-length documentaries of integrity, originality, technical excellence or cultural significance; and the Best Short Film Award went to 9 DAYS – FROM MY WINDOW IN ALEPPO, directed by Issa Touma, Thomas Vroege and Floor van de Muelen. This award is given to short form works with a unique cinematic voice and confident handling of the chosen theme and content.

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Sutherland Award, Julia Ducournau, RAW

Talking about the official competition winner, the film jury recognized CERTAIN WOMEN as the most inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking of the year, and said that “it was the masterful mise en scène and quiet modesty of this film that determined our choice for Best Film. A humane and poignant story that calibrates, with startling vulnerability and delicate understatement, the isolation, frustrations and loneliness of lives unlived in a quiet corner of rural America.” 

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Sutherland Award, Julia Ducournau, RAW

Julia Ducournau received the Sutherland Award for RAW – the story about a young woman’s insatiable appetite for flesh in a playful coming-of-age body horror tale. Film jury member Sarah Gavron said: “It is a film that shocked and surprised us in equal measure. We admired the way the director did something completely unexpected with the genre. We enjoyed the outrageousness of the story-telling, and the glee with which events unfolded. We loved the eerie originality of the setting, the dark, dark humour, the great score and the truly distinctive visual language. And the bold charismatic acting of the women at the centre of a film that is both unique and unsettling and will quite literally make some swoon.”

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Uda Benyamina, Divines

The jury also gave a special commendation to Uda Benyamina’s DIVINES for its standout female performance from Oulaya Amamra and for its great energy and veracity.

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Uda Benyamina, Divines

STARLESS DREAMS, a thoughtful and complex portrait of juvenile delinquent women at the extreme margins of Iranian society, by veteran documentarian Mehrdad Oskouei, received the Grierson Award: “It is the story of young women in a juvenile detention centre in Iran. By that description you’d imagine a dark film exploring a bleak world of broken young lives. This film was the very opposite of that. It took us into a world none of us knew anything about – the street kids, thieves and children of crack addicts of Iran – and showed us a place full of humour, life and spirit. Beautifully paced with great characterisation and a very strong sense of place, director Mehrdad Oskouei captured the fears and friendships of these teenagers with such humanity. The profoundly moving irony of the film is that it was in this detention centre, with others like them, that these girls finally found a sense of family and home; you feared for them most the day they were released back into their families’ care. It’s a film that stays with you for a very long time,” RTS and International Emmy-winner Louise Osmond commented.

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Grierson Award, Starless Dreams

This year marked the second year of presenting the Best Short Film Award, which went to  9 DAYS – FROM MY WINDOW IN ALEPPOJury president and Academy Award® winner, Mat Kirkby said: “When Syrian photographer Issa Touma decided to pick up his camera and film events from his window in Aleppo, he did not know whether he would be alive to finish the filming. Not only does his documentary show what one person, one camera and a restricted view of an alleyway can do to reveal something as complex, confusing, and terrifying as a civil war, but also it demonstrates the power of film to reach the wider world, and make those more fortunate re-assess the freedom we take for granted.”

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Best Short Film Award, 9 Days – From my Window in Aleppo
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Best Short Film Award, 9 Days – From my Window in Aleppo

SEEN congratulates all the winners and strongly recommends you see at least one of the films in this iconic festival.

www.bfi.org.uk

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Categories DesignPosted on

Sculpture in the City, Art for Everyone

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Alex Evans at the Foundry Gallery, Chelsea Quarter: LDF17

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