Russian film is surprise winner at London Film Festival
The Star of London award for the Best Film of the London Film Festival has gone to the Russian arctic drama, How I Ended This Summer.
Despite impressive competition on the twelve-strong shortlist from higher-profile British, American and French films, Russia’s Alexei Popogrebsky took the top prize for a film that the chairman of the jury, the actress Patricia Clarkson, said had elemental themes of isolation and alienation — and was a visceral psychological drama. She said Popogrebsky had combined stunning cinematography with painterly attention to production detail and drawn intense and subtle performances from his actors.
Clio Barnard, whose previous work has included art installations, was honoured with two awards at the night for her debut film, The Arbor. She won the Best British Newcomer trophy and the Sutherland Award for the best debut feature.
The Grierson Award for documentaries went to Denmark’s Janus Metz, whose Armadillo followed a group of Danish soldiers in Afghanistan. The chairman of the Grierson jury, the director Kevin Macdonald, said Armadillo was a touchstone film that would be watched for years to come.
With the other awards going to unknown film-makers, the highest profile honour of the night was for the Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. He became a Fellow of the British Film Institute.
His latest film, 127 Hours, is the closing film of this year’s festival – the second time in three years that he’s had that honour.