UK writer-director Sally Potter will receive the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film at the 40th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards.
Previous winners of the accolade include Michael Caine, Judi Dench, Quentin Tarantino, Isabelle Huppert, Kate Winslet and Pedro Almodovar.
London-born Potter made her first 8mm short film at age 14, and then in 1983 wrote and directed her first feature The Gold Diggers, starring Julie Christie. Her breakthrough film was the 1992 Oscar-nominated drama Orlando, based on the Virginia Woolf novel and starring Tilda Swinton in her breakout role.
Subsequent features include the BAFTA-nominated The Tango Lesson (1997), in which she starred as a filmmaker named Sally, The Man Who Cried (2000) with Cate Blanchett and Johnny Depp, Yes (2004) with Joan Allen, Rage (2009) with an all-star cast led by Judi Dench, Ginger & Rosa (2012) with Elle Fanning and Alice Englert, and comedy-drama The Party (2017) with Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall and Patricia Clarkson.
The film chapter of the UK Critics’ Circle is made up of more than 145 UK film critics, broadcasters and writers. The film awards will take place on January 30, 2020, at the May Fair Hotel, London.
Potter said, “To be honoured by critics is an exceptional joy. To be honoured in Dilys Powell’s name is to be blessed by a legend, someone whose love for the films that she wrote about so fluently was held by an archaeological knowledge of the history of cinema. I met her just once, when I was starting out as a filmmaker. Her critical gaze and precise language was uncompromising but respectful and therefore encouraging, which is all anyone ever needs. It is very moving to imagine those beady eyes looking at me again several decades later.”