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61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® announces 2017 juries 

This year’s Jury Presidents are Andrea Arnold, Melissa Parmenter, John Battsek and Michael Dukok de Wit.

2 October 2017

Image from LFF awards

Director Steve McQueen attends the 60th BFI London Film Festival at Banqueting House

The 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® announces its jury line-up for this year’s Festival Awards. The juries will be led by: multi award-winning director ANDREA ARNOLD whose film AMERICAN HONEY won the Cannes Jury Prize in 2016 and premiered as last year’s LFF Festival Special Presentation and whose other films include LFF Sutherland Award-winner 2006, RED ROAD, the BAFTA- winning FISH TANK, and WUTHERING HEIGHTS; producer & composer MELISSA PARMENTER, whose credits include the critically acclaimed THE TRIP trilogy starring Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon, THE LOOK OF LOVE, TRISHNA and THE FACE OF AN ANGEL; MICHAEL DUDOK DE WIT whose films have won numerous international awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA award in 2001 for his short film FATHER AND DAUGHTER and feature debut THE RED TURTLE, co-produced by Studio Ghibli, which was Academy Award-nominated and won the Special Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard in Cannes in 2016; JOHN BATTSEK who conceived Academy Award®-winning ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER and has since been responsible for over thirty feature documentaries including BAFTA winner The Imposter, and Academy Award® and BAFTA- winning SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN. He received Grierson Trustees Award for Outstanding Contribution to Documentary and his new film THE FINAL YEAR has its European premiere at LFF as the Documentary Special Presentation.

The Awards ceremony, hosted this year by JAMES NESBITT, will take place on Saturday 14 October at The Banqueting House. As previously announced, this year’s BFI Fellowship will be presented to BAFTA award-winning director, producer, screenwriter and former broadcast journalist, PAUL GREENGRASS.

The nominated films represent the creative heart of the LFF and this annual showcase has a strong track record in selecting films which have gone on to critical and commercial success.
Previous LFF award winners returning to the Festival with new films in 2017 are:

  • LYNNE RAMSAY whose new film YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE screens as a Headline Gala and who previously won LFF Best Film for WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (which went on to receive Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominations). Lynne also won the Sutherland Award for her first feature RATCATCHER (also subsequently BAFTA winning and nominated)
  • ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV whose new film LOVELESS plays in Official Competition. LEVIATHAN won Best Film in 2014 and went on to be Academy Award-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and win the Golden Globe in the same category).
  • CLIO BARNARD whose new film DARK RIVER screens as Special Presentation and who previously won the Sutherland Award for The ARBOR (which went onto be BAFTA-nominated);
  • In addition to Ramsay, Zvyagintsev and Barnard, previous LFF Award-winners and nominees receiving major awards recognition include 2016’s Official Competition nominee BARRY JENKINS whose film MOONLIGHT had its international premiere at the Festival and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Film; PAWEL PAWLIKOWSKI’s IDA (which received both the Academy Award and BAFTA for Best Foreign Language film in 2005) and two-time winner JACQUES AUDIARD whose A PROPHET was Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and won the BAFTA in the same category; and whose RUST AND BONE went on to be Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated.

As the BFI London Film Festival is a festival open to the public, all of the films nominated – including those in the Official Competition for Best Film – will be screened during the festival, giving the UK audiences one of the first opportunities to see what will be some of the most talked about films of the year. Embankment Garden Cinema will return for 2017, as the home of the BFI London Film Festival’s Official Competition screenings.

Last year’s winners were: Kelly Reichardt’s CERTAIN WOMEN Best Film Award (Official Competition); Julia Ducournau’s RAW, Sutherland Award (First Feature Competition); Mehrdad Oskouei’s STARLESS DREAMS, Grierson Award (Documentary Competition); and Issa Touma, Thomas Vroege and Floor van de Muelen’s 9 DAYS – FROM MY WINDOW IN ALEPPO, Best Short Film Award.

BEST FILM

ANDREA ARNOLD is joined by: award-winning filmmaker BABAK ANVARI, whose critically-acclaimed feature debut UNDER THE SHADOW won a BAFTA this year for Outstanding British Debut; ERIC BANA, star of MUNICH, THE HULK, BLACK HAWK DOWN and J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK, and whose latest film THE FORGIVEN is premiering at this year’s LFF; ASHLEY CLARK, senior programmer of cinema at BAM Brooklyn, and the programmer of BFI Black Star; actor and social entrepreneur LILY COLE; award-winning writer and director, and Head of Directing at Moscow Film School ALEXEI POPOGREBSKY (whose film HOW I ENDED THIS SUMMER won two Berlinale Silver Bears and Best Film at LFF in 2010) ; and BAFTA and Academy Award®- nominated producer EMMA THOMAS, whose wide range of successful and critically acclaimed films, including INTERSTELLAR, INCEPTION, THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY, THE PRESTIGE, INSOMNIA, MEMENTO and most recently, the WWII epic action thriller DUNKIRK.

The Best Film Award recognises inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking. The Official Competition films are:

• Robin Campillo, 120 BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE)
• Vivian Qu, ANGELS WEAR WHITE
• Majid Majidi, BEYOND THE CLOUDS (World Premiere)
• Nora Twomey, THE BREADWINNER (European Premiere)
• Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra, GOOD MANNERS
• Xavier Beauvois, THE GUARDIANS (European Premiere)
• Andrew Haigh, LEAN ON PETE
• Andrey Zvyagintsev, LOVELESS
• Azazel Jacobs, THE LOVERS (European Premiere)
• Warwick Thornton, SWEET COUNTRY
• Cory Finley, THOROUGHBREDS (International Premiere)
• Annemarie Jacir, WAJIB

FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION

MELISSA PARMENTER is joined by: KALEEM AFTAB, freelance film writer and editor who is author of the acclaimed biography Spike Lee: That’s My Story And I’m Sticking To It, and has produced award-winning short films; award-winning actor JASON ISAACS, best known for his role as Lucius Malfoy in HARRY POTTER, who can currently be seen in the hit Netflix show THE OA and, coming soon, THE DEATH OF STALIN and STAR TREK: DISCOVERY; filmmaker and Turner Prize-nominated artist ISAAC JULIEN CBE whose 1991 debut feature YOUNG SOUL REBELS won the Semaine de la Critique prize at Cannes and whose digitally remastered experimental documentary FRANTZ FANON: BLACK SKIN WHITE MASK receives its World Premiere at this year’s LFF; and multi-award winning actress HELEN MCCRORY who starred as Narcissa Malfoy in three of the globally successful HARRY POTTER films, as well as the BBC’s critically acclaimed PEAKY BLINDERS and ITV’s drama series FEARLESS. She also stars in the hand-painted film about the life of Vincent Van Gogh, LOVING VINCENT which features in this year’s LFF

Titles in consideration for the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition recognising an original and imaginative directorial debut are:

• Daniel Kokotajlo, APOSTASY
• Léa Mysius, AVA
• Michael Pearce, BEAST (European Premiere)
• Ofir Raul Graizer, THE CAKEMAKER
• Gilles Coulier, CARGO
• Kogonada, COLUMBUS
• Rungano Nyoni, I AM NOT A WITCH
• Léonor Serraille, JEUNE FEMME
• Ana Asensio, MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
• Carla Simón, SUMMER 1993
• Hlynur Pálmason, WINTER BROTHERS
• John Trengove, THE WOUND

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Joining JOHN BATTSEK on the jury this year are: editor and producer PAUL DOSAJ, whose work includes the BAFTA and Grierson award-winning KELLY AND HER SISTERS; creative director of UK Factual at Raw TV LIESEL EVANS, who is currently overseeing BBC2′s ABORTION: WHAT BRITAIN REALLY THINKS and C4′s CHRIS PACKHAM: ME AND MY ASPERGERS; leading directors in the world of advertising and commercials EDWARD LOVELACE and JAMES HALL, whose critically acclaimed, award-winning third feature film THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS played in the Grierson Documentary Competition at LFF in 2014; and multi award-winning
 
NORMA PERCY, series producer of all Brook Lapping documentaries including THE DEATH OF YUGOSLAVIA and INSIDE OBAMA’S WHITE HOUSE; her work has garnered a host of awards including an Emmy, two BAFTAs, four RTS awards, three Columbia University Du Pont awards and five Peabodys.

The Grierson Award for films in the Documentary Competition category recognises cinematic documentaries with integrity, originality, and social or cultural significance. This year‘s nominated documentaries are:-

• Maryam Goormaghtigh, BEFORE SUMMER ENDS
• Elvira Lind, BOBBI JENE
• Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Behrouz Boochani, CHAUKA, PLEASE TELL US THE TIME (International
Premiere)
• Radu Jude, THE DEAD NATION
• Shevaun Mizrahi, DISTANT CONSTELLATION
• Frederick Wiseman, EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
• Agnès Varda, JR, FACES PLACES
• Austin Lynch, Matthew Booth, GRAY HOUSE
• Brett Morgen, JANE (European Premiere)
• Lucy Cohen, KINGDOM OF US (World Premiere)
• Emmanuel Gras, MAKALA
• Sonia Kronlund, THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD

SHORT FILM AWARD

MICHAEL DUDOK DE WIT will be joined by: film critic and culture writer, SIMRAN HANS, film critic for The Observer and contributor to BuzzFeed, Dazed, The FADER, and Sight & Sound; AFOLABI KUTI, one of Screen International’s future leaders of film in 2012 and producer of BAFTA-winning short film HOME; WILLIAM OLDROYD, a BAFTA 'Brit to Watch' 2016 whose first short film BEST won the Sundance London Short Film Competition in 2013 and whose first feature LADY MACBETH (LFF 2016) won awards at San Sebastian, Zurich and Montclair International Film Festivals; and actor CHLOE PIRRIE, who won the Most Promising Newcomer BIFA for her performance in SHELL in 2013, along with being one of the BAFTA Breakthrough artists and Screen International Stars of Tomorrow in 2014.

The Short Film Award recognises short form works with a unique cinematic voice and a confident handling of chosen theme and content. This year the Festival’s Short Film nominees are:

• Gabriel Abrantes, THE ARTIFICIAL HUMORS
• Phil Collins, DELETE BEACH
• Billie Pleffer, FYSH (International Premiere)
• Anna Cazenave Cambet, GABBER LOVER
• Karishma Dube, GODDESS
• Aegina Brahim, LAWS OF THE GAME
• Jonathan Vinel, MARTIN CRIES
• Patrick Bresnan THE RABBIT HUNT
• Moin Hussain, REAL GODS REQUIRE BLOOD
• Kibwe Tavares, ROBOT & SCARECROW
• Kazik Radwanski, SCAFFOLD
• Harry Lighton, WREN BOYS (World Premiere)

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