Chevalier wins London
by Naman Ramachandran
- The Witch wins the Sutherland Award for first feature while Sherpa takes the Grierson Award for best documentary
Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Chevalier [+see also:
film profile] is the official competition winner for best film at the 59th BFI London Film Festival (7-18 October). Jury president 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, Athina 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’ The Witch [+see also:
film profile] won the Sutherland Award for first feature. Jury president Desiree Akhavan said, “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.” The jury also gave a special mention to Martin Butler and Bentley Dean’s Tanna.
Jennifer Peedom’s Sherpa won the Grierson Award for best documentary. 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 six 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.”
An Old Dog’s Diary by Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel won the inaugural Best Short Film Award.
Ian McKellen presented this year’s BFI Fellowship to Cate Blanchett.