Director Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Chevalier, a Greek comedy about a six men vying for position in an absurd competition of machismo while their yacht undergoes repairs, won the top prize tonight at the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival. Jury president Pawel Pawlikowski, director of Oscar-winner Ida, described the film as a “study of male antagonism seen through the eyes of a brave and original filmmaker.” Robert Eggers won the best first feature nod for The Witch, and Jennifer Peedom took the documentary award for Sherpa, about the sherpas of Nepal. Also earning a commendation was Martin Butler and Bentley Dean’s Tanna. Fest’s inaugural award for Best Short Film went to An Old Dog’s Diary, Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel’s portrait of Indian artist Francis Newton Souza, inspired by his writings, letters, drawings and possessions.
Cate Blanchett, whose films Todd Haynes’ Carol and James Vanderbilt’s Truth screened at the festival, received the BFI Fellowship career award, presented by Sir Ian McKellen. “It’s a cross between an obituary and a tribute,” Blanchett said. “I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.”
Fest concludes Sunday with a screening of Legendary/Universal’s Steve Jobs biopic directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender in the title role.