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London Film Festival Awards

London Film Festival Awards

The London Film Festival wound up with awards celebrating filmmakers in Official Competition, First Feature Competition, Documentary Competition and Short Film Competition.
Greek filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari won the Best Film Award for “Chevalier,” her feminist satire of men competing on a yacht vacation. The award was announced by president of the Official Competition jury, Pawel Pawlikowski, whose “Ida” won the LFF Best Film prize in 2013. “’Chevalier’ is a study of male antagonism seen though the eyes of a brave and original filmmaker,” said Pawlikowski. “With great formal rigor 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.”
Robert Eggers took home the Sutherland Award for Best First Feature for Sundance period horror flick “The Witch.” “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,” said jury president Desiree Akhavan (“Appropriate Behaviour”), “with an impressive command of cameras as well as truly heartbreaking performances— it presented a fresh, feminist take on a timeless tale.”
Jennifer Peedom nabbed the Grierson Award for Best Documentary for mountaineering epic “Sherpa.”
Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel got the Best Short Film Award for “An Old Dog’s Diary.”  
The awards were given out at the Banqueting House, Whitehall at the event hosted by musician and broadcaster Jarvis Cocker. Guests on hand included jurors Christine Vachon (“Carol”), Chiwetel Ejiofor (“Twelve Years a Slave”), Kristin Scott-Thomas (“Gosford Park”), and director Mabel Cheung (“A Take of Three Cities”) as well as Daisy Jacobs, Harriet Walter, Iain Forsyth, James Vanderbilt, Joe Wright, Kathleen Kennedy, Martin Freeman, Sandy Powell, Stephen Woolley, and Topher Grace.
 Cate Blanchett received the BFI Fellowship, presented by Ian McKellen; both actors are in the awards race for BAFTA and Oscars for “Carol” and “Mr. Holmes,” respectively. Earlier in the evening Blanchett attended the UK Premiere of “Truth,” which screened as the Fellowship Special Presentation film. Blanchett also attended the Festival for Todd Haynes’ “Carol.” Since its creation, the BFI Fellowship has been awarded to key figures in British cinema including Peggy Ashcroft, Dirk Bogarde, Helena Bonham Carter, Judi Dench, Stephen Frears, Alec Guinness, Mike Leigh, Christopher Lee, Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave and Maggie Smith. Since 1983 a total of 80 Fellowships have been awarded.

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