Yesterday evening, the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express announced the 2015 award winners at a high profile ceremony in London’s Banqueting House in Whitehall.
OFFICIAL COMPETITION WINNER – BEST FILM: CHEVALIER – Athina Rachel Tsangari
Pawel Pawlikowski said “Chevalier is a study of male antagonism seen though the eyes of a brave and original filmmaker. With great formal rigour and irresistible wit, Athena Rachel Tsangari has managed to make a film that is both a hilarious comedy and a deeply disturbing statement on the condition of western humanity”.
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION WINNER – SUTHERLAND AWARD: Robert Eggers for THE WITCH
Desiree Akhavan, said “This year’s Sutherland Award nominees were a bold group of beautifully crafted first features. Of the nominated films, one stood apart as the announcement of a new voice in contemporary cinema. A horror film that felt as though it were reinventing the genre with each frame and truly shocking moments that evoke both terror and empathy. With an impressive command of cameras as well as truly heartbreaking performances – it presented a fresh, feminist take on a timeless tale.”
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION WINNER – GRIERSON AWARD: SHERPA, directed by Jennifer Peedom
The jury said “We are taken into the lives, homes and families of the Sherpas, who have for too long been overlooked and exploited, dependent for their livelihoods on an increasing number of tourists who sometimes regard them as little more than owned slaves. We’re left with an appreciation of the sacrifices the Sherpa community have made for over 6 decades. We applaud this impressive film for giving voice to a previously voiceless community, and we hope it reaches the wide, general audience that it deserves”.
SHORT FILM COMPETITION WINNER – BEST SHORT FILM AWARD: AN OLD DOG’S DIARY, directed by Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel
Daisy Jacob, jury president said “An Old Dog’s Diary is as poetic and soulful as its subject. It offers a fresh and original way of documenting the life of an artist. It looks beautiful, sounds beautiful, but, more than that, it tells us about the beauty of the human spirit.”
As previously announced, the BFI Fellowship was also presented to Cate Blanchett by Ian McKellen, her co-star in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.