Take the road, the feature debut by Iranian writer-director Panah Panahi, won first prize at the BFI London Film Festival.
The film, which first bowed to the sidebar of the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, won the award for best film in the official competition, which was selected by a jury headed by Assault director Małgorzata Szumowska who also included film critic Jessica Kiang, Emmy-winning casting director Nina Gold (The crown, Game Of Thrones), nominated for the BAFTA After Love director Aleem Khan and multi-award winning director Mark Cousins.
“The Best Film Award recognizes inspiring and distinctive cinema that captures the essence of cinema,” Szumowska said. “The essence of life! Throughout the history of cinema, but perhaps especially during a pandemic, we have been looking for ways to connect with life. Our choice fell on a film that made us laugh, cry and feel alive.
In Hollywood journalistin the Cannes review, Panahi – the son of famous Iranian author Jafar Panahi – was described as a “moving new voice”, with Take the road “Channeling the slow-burning, self-reflective realism present in most of the best work of the Iranian new wave”.
The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker’s Fellowship – the annual grant of £ 50,000 ($ 69,000) awarded in association with the British Film Institute, of which Phoebe Waller-Bridge chaired this year – has been awarded to Harry Wootliff, the director of the drama of Venice this year. Real things, with Ruth Wilson and Tom Burke.
Elsewhere, the Sutherland Award for Best First Feature went to school bullying drama Playground by Belgian writer / director Laura Wandel, while the Grierson Award for Best Documentary went to Liz Garbus’ Become Cousteau, retracing the life and career of Jacques Cousteau. The Sutherland Award jury also gave a special mention to Laura Samani Small body, and the Grierson jury received a special mention for Babi Yar. The context, by Sergei Loznitsa.
Other London Film Festival winners include Duncan Speakman, who won the Immersive Art Award and XR for Extension only, and Diana Cam Von Nguyen, who won the short film award for Love, daddy.
The drama of Mounia Akl Costa Brava, Lebanon – with Nadine Labaki and Saleh Bakri – won the festival audience award, which was awarded to Thomas Vinterberg last year Another round, which went on to win the Oscar for best international feature film.
The 2021 London Film Festival, which opened on October 6 with the world premiere of Western The more they fall, ends Sunday with the adaptation of Shakespeare by Joel Coen Macbeth’s tragedy.