A Prophet conquers London
by Naman Ramachandran
The inaugural Star of London for Best Film at the Times 53rd BFI London Film Festival was awarded to Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet [+see also:
interview: Jacques Audiard
interview: Jacques Audiard and Tahar R…
Jury Chair Anjelica Huston said, “A masterpiece: A Prophet has the ambition, purity of vision and clarity of purpose to make it an instant classic. With seamless and imaginative story-telling, superb performances and universal themes, Jacques Audiard has made a perfect film.”
The jury also gave a special mention to John Hillcoat’s The Road.
The Best British Newcomer Star of London was presented to Jack Thorne, screenwriter of the film The Scouting Book For Boys [+see also:
film profile]. The jury said, “Jack Thorne is a poetic writer with an end-of-the-world imagination and a real gift for story-telling.” The jury also gave a special mention to J Blakeson, the writer and director of The Disappearance of Alice Creed [+see also:
Palestinian filmmaker Scandar Copti and Israeli director Yaron Shani won the longstanding Sutherland Award for Ajami [+see also:
film profile]. The jury said, “A bold and original piece of filmmaking, Ajami tells an important story in a thoroughly engrossing and cinematic way. A fantastic achievement, Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani have made a film with a heart and a vision that speaks for a common humanity.”
There was more joy for Israel as Yoav Shamir won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary for Defamation. Nick Broomfield said on behalf of the jury, “The film’s intellectual courage, boldness of conception and the excitement of the journey on which it takes you make this a winning film.”
Distinguished British actor John Hurt and renowned Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé were accorded British Film Institute Fellowships for their significant achievements in the fields of acting and directing.
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