Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Kenneth Branagh to receive Dilys Powell Award

Sir Kenneth Branagh
The UK's top film critics will present Sir Kenneth Branagh with their highest accolade, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, at the London Critics Circle Film Awards ceremony on Sunday 17 January.

Born in Belfast and raised in Reading, Branagh graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1981 and is now its 16th president. He has enjoyed a career as an actor, director, producer and screenwriter, with credits spanning theatre, TV and film.

He notably adapted, helmed and starred in several Shakespearean films - Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet. Other directing credits include Peter’s Friends, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in which he co-starred with Robert De Niro, the remake of Sleuth, starring Michael Caine and Jude Law, and Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

In a 34 year on-screen career he has appeared in films such as A Month in the Country, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Othello, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Woody Allen’s Celebrity and Valkyrie.

Branagh won the Best Supporting Actor Bafta for his portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn, a role for which the Critics’ Circle also honoured him. Uniquely, as a UK based filmmaker, he holds five Oscar nominations in five different categories. No stranger to the Hollywood blockbuster, he has directed Thor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and this year’s live action fairy tale Cinderella.

Kenneth Branagh was knighted in 2012 for his services to drama and to the community in Northern Ireland.

In anticipation of receiving this latest award, Branagh said: “As a young filmmaker, I had the privilege of meeting Dilys Powell. She was passionate, rigorous, humane. Her criticism was illuminating, thoughtful and bracing. This recognition in her name is a great honour to me personally and very meaningful. My sincere thanks to the Critics' Circle.

Dilys Powell was a British author and film critic who pioneered a new style of cinematic journalism. The British Film Institute famously described her as "open to new directions in cinema... not constrained by the middle class shibboleths of ‘good taste’.” Her final review, of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, was published in The Times on the day of her death in June 1995.

Recent Dilys Powell Award honorees include Nicolas Roeg, Kristin Scott Thomas, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter and last year's recipient Miranda Richardson. The award has been given out annually since 1991, when it was presented to Dirk Bogarde.

The 36th London Critics' Circle Film Awards will be presented at the May Fair Hotel on Sunday, 17th January 2016, at a ceremony hosted by actor-filmmakers Alice Lowe and Steve Oram. Nominations will be announced on Tuesday15 December.

The Legend of Barney Thomson named best film at Scottish Baftas

The Legend of Barney Thomson
The Legend of Barney Thomson, a black comedy directed by Robert Carlyle, was named best film at the British Academy Scotland Awards. Emma Thompson won the award for best actress in a film for her performance as the elderly mother of Barney, a murderous barber in the film, played by Carlyle.

David Elliot was named best actor in a film for Kajaki: The True Story, which recreates a harrowing incident from the British Army’s engagement in Afghanistan. Another military-themed film, ’71, was recognised when Gregory Burk was named best writer.

Glaswegian actor Bill Paterson won a special award for outstanding contribution to film and television. The 70-year-old has films such as The Killing Fields, Comfort and Joy and the upcoming Dad’s Army movie, and TV series such as The Singing Detective and Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

Speaking on the red carpet, Paterson said: “It's great but the added burden is that you can't pretend you don't have something ready to say, so it's swings and roundabouts. But I'm absolutely thrilled, it's beyond a fantastic honour because it's from the people I've worked among for decades.”

Jude MacLaverty, director of Bafta Scotland, said: “It has been a wonderful evening and this year's winners highlight the diversity of international and national projects choosing Scotland as a filming destination and the rich seam of Scottish talent working throughout the UK. We offer our warmest congratulations to all our worthy winners.”

Bafta Scotland: 2015 award winners
  • Outstanding contribution to film and TV - Bill Paterson
  • Outstanding contribution to broadcasting - Dorothy Byrne
  • Outstanding contribution to craft award - David Balfour
  • Film actor - David Elliott for Kajaki: The True Story
  • Television actor - Ken Stott for The Missing
  • Film actress - Emma Thompson for The Legend of Barney Thomson
  • Television actress - Sharon Rooney for My Mad Fat Diary
  • Animation - Stems, Ainslie Henderson, Poppy Acroyd, Michael Hughes, Will Anderson
  • Children's programme - The Dog ate my Homework, production team, BBC Scotland/CBBC
  • Comedy/entertainment - Mrs Brown’s Boys, Brendan O’Carroll, Stephen McCrum, Ben Kellett, Martin Delany- BBC Scotland/BBC One
  • Current affairs - Low Pay Britain (Dispatches), Richard Cookson, Nicole Kleeman, Morland Sanders - Firecrest Films/Channel 4
  • Director film/television - Donald Coutts for Katie Morag
  • Factual series - Being Sixteen in 2014, Natalie Moss, Jude Suggett, Andrew Lockyer, Matt Pinder- BBC Scotland/BBC Two Scotland
  • Feature film - The Legend of Barney Thomson, John G Lenic, Brian Coffey, Kaleena Kiff, Robert Carlyle - Sigma Films/Trinity Works Entertainment/Icon Film Distribution
  • Features/factual entertainment - It was Alright in the 70s, production team Objective Scotland/Channel 4
  • Game - Distant Star: Revenant Fleet, by Blazing Griffin
  • Short film - Mining Poems or Odes, Callum Rice, Jack Cocker of Scottish Documentary Institute
  • Single documentary - The Bridge: Fifty Years Across the Forth, production team TVI Vision/BBC One Scotland
  • Television drama - Glasgow Girls, Brian Welsh, Colin Barr, Kate Cook - Minnow Films/BBC Three
  • Writer film/television - Gregory Burke for '71

Framed Film Festival showcases children's films

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
The Framed Film Festival, the Barbican’s annual showcase of the new children’s films returns for a fourth year with a weekend filled with stories of adventure, animals, magic and poetry from all over the world aimed at young cinemagoers aged between four and 11-years-old.

The festival will open with a very special preview of Snoopy and Charlie Brown - The Peanuts Movie 3D, a family film is based on the classic comic strip.

Other films in the programme include: Animal Magic, a selection of shorts by animator An Vrombraut, creator of children’s show 64 Zoo Lane, who will be introducing the screening; Latvian fairy tale The Golden Horse, which features a young princess and an evil witch; the quirky Brazilian animation The Adventures of the Red Plane, which is aimed at younger audiences; 3D animation Mune, a tale of a faun on a mission to save the sun and the moon; and Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, which features the voices of an all-star cast and beautiful animation from a group of very different artists.

The Barbican’s Creative Learning team has programmed an assortment of fun and educational activities to enhance the young festivalgoers’ experience. Children will have he chance to create ‘Character Heads’, based on the film a child has just seen.

The ‘Pop-Up Media Studio’, organised with Chocolate Films, offers children the chance to get hands on experience shooting, directing and editing films including the use of a green screen.

Interactive fun
Studio Anorak will be running a ‘Live Drawing Wall’, where children can watch a designer at work as they create new designs based around the film programme as well as get involved themselves and help with the colouring in.

While the festival runs from Saturday 21 November until Sunday 22 November, the Framed Film Club takes place every Saturday morning during term time.