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LONDON 2018 Awards

Joy wins Best Film in the 62nd BFI London Film Festival’s Official Competition

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- Girl has won the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition, while What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? scooped the Grierson Award in the Documentary Competition

Joy wins Best Film in the 62nd BFI London Film Festival’s Official Competition
The winners of the 2018 London Film Festival (l-r): Roberto Minervini, Charlie Lyne, Sudabeh Mortezai and Lukas Dhont

Joy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sudabeh Mortezai
film profile
]
 by Sudabeh Mortezai has taken home the Best Film Award in the Official Competition of the 62nd London Film Festival. This extends the award-winning run of the film, which was the winner of both the first-ever Hearst Film Award for Best Female Direction and the 2018 Europa Cinemas Label at the 75th Venice International Film Festival. The movie tells the story of Joy, a young woman brought over from Nigeria to work as a prostitute in Vienna.

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Lenny Abrahamson, Official Competition president, said: “Joy is a provocative and unique film… A raw, fresh view on sex trafficking with a sharp feminist perspective sewn in throughout – director Sudabeh Mortezai successfully immerses us in the women’s lives with her documentary-like approach, exploring the traps of abuse and extortion without the movie ever becoming exploitative itself.” The Official Competition jury also gave a Special Mention to Birds of Passage [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra

Lukas Dhont’s Girl [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lukas Dhont
film profile
]
won the Sutherland Award, bestowed upon the winner of the First Feature Competition. The Belgian entry for the Best Foreign-language Film at the 91st Academy Awards was also awarded the coveted Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Girl tells the story of a transgender teenager who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer.

Francis Lee, First Feature Competition president, said: “Girl is an extraordinary coming-of-age story featuring a truly remarkable central performance – it is not afraid to tackle a number of difficult subject matters which are dramatically effective and fully believable.”

What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Roberto Minervini
film profile
]
 by Roberto Minervini picked up the top prize, the Grierson Award, in the Documentary Competition. The film follows a Louisiana community during the summer of 2017, in the aftermath of a string of brutal police shootings of black men that sent shockwaves through the country. 

Simon Chinn, Documentary Competition president, commented: “A truly thought-provoking and all-too-urgent documentary – through stunning and unflinching black-and-white frames, we are offered a raw and emotional snapshot of African American life in the Deep South.”

The winner of the Short Film Award, Charlie Lyne’s documentary Lasting Marks charts the story of 16 men put on trial for sadomasochism in the dying days of Thatcher’s Britain. Rungano Nyoni, Short Film Competition president, stated: “Lasting Marks fascinated us all by resurrecting forgotten history.”

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Official Competition

Best Film
Joy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sudabeh Mortezai
film profile
]
- Sudabeh Mortezai (Austria)
Special Mention
Birds of Passage [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra (Colombia/Denmark/Mexico)

First Feature Competition

Best Film
Girl [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lukas Dhont
film profile
]
– Lukas Dhont (Belgium/Netherlands)

Documentary Competition

Best Film
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Roberto Minervini
film profile
]
– Roberto Minervini (Italy/USA/France) 

Short Film Competition

Best Film
Lasting Marks – Charlie Lyne (UK)

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