Joy, Girl and What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? were among winners revealed tonight at the BFI London Film Festival.
Sudabeh Mortezai’s Joy took home the Best Film Award in the Official Competition. Winner of both the first ever Hearst Film Award 2018 for Best Female Direction and the 2018 Europa Cinemas Label at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, the drama tackles the vicious cycle of sex trafficking in modern Europe. It follows the life of Joy, a young Nigerian woman, who works the streets to pay off debts to her exploiter Madame, while supporting her family in Nigeria and hoping for a better life for her young daughter in Vienna.
In the same section, there was a Special Commendation for Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s Birds Of Passage.
Lukas Dhont’s Cannes hit Girl, about a transgender teenager who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, won the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition. Roberto Minervini’s What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? took home the Grierson Award in the Documentary Competition. The Venice debut follows a Louisiana community during the summer of 2017, in the aftermath of a string of brutal police shootings of black men that sent shockwaves throughout the country.
Charlie Lyne’s short documentary Lasting Marks, which charts the story of sixteen men put on trial for sadomasochism in the dying days of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, won the Short Film Award.
Jury presidents were Lenny Abrahamson (Official Competition), Francis Lee (First Feature Competition), Simon Chinn (Documentary Competition) and Rungano Nyoni (Short Film Competition). For the first time this year, the winners were revealed in front of a public audience at Vue West End.
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Artistic Director said, “The 2018 LFF Awards nominations demonstrate the vibrancy of global filmmaking and I’m delighted for the winning filmmakers who have triumphed at the 62nd BFI London Film Festival. After much jury deliberation, our wonderful juries have selected four extraordinary films which encourage dialogue and understanding around issues of race, class, gender and sexuality. I applaud Sudabeh, Lukas, Roberto and Charlie for their boldly distinctive work and hope that our awards can help focus even more attention from UK and global audiences on their truly deserving films.”