12 Years a Slave is UK Regional Critics’ Film of the Year


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Two awards each for 12 Years a Slave and Gravity while Cate Blanchett is named Best Actress for Blue Jasmine

The UK Regional Critics’ Film Awards give a collective voice to regional film journalists during the annual film awards season, and I was lucky enough to be invited to vote this year.

The winners are decided solely by the votes of arts/entertainment journalists, staff and freelance, editors, critics and bloggers in all forms of regional and local media around the UK. There are no panels or juries.

The winners of this year’s UK regional film awards in all 11 categories are as follows:

Regional critics’ awards:

  • Film of the Year – 12 Years a Slave
  • Director – Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
  • Actress – Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Actor – Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Screenwriter – Spike Jonze, Her
  • British Breakthrough – George MacKay

Public votes:

  • Visual Effects – Gravity
  • Animation – Frozen
  • On-screen Duo – Emma Thompson/Tom Hanks, Saving Mr Banks
  • British Film – Philomena
  • Blogger – Ryan Lambie, Den of Geek!

12 Years a Slave was named Film of the Year by the UK’s regional film critics. In addition, Chiwetel Ejiofor was voted the regional critics’ Actor of the year for his performance as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave.

Director Steve McQueen’s visceral drama recently won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. It is currently nominated for 9 Academy Awards® and 10 EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs).

Steve McQueen said:  “I am thrilled that 12 Years a Slave has been named Best Picture by the UK regional film critics. This means so much to me. Thank you for your help in making the film such a success throughout the UK.”

The regional critics’ award for Director of the year went to Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity. This matches the recent choices of both the Directors’ Guild of America and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their Best Director Golden Globe. Alfonso Cuarón also has a Best Director nomination at the EE BAFTAs and Academy Awards.

Alfonso Cuarón said: “It’s particularly gratifying to receive this honour from the UK regional film critics. Your encouraging words helped pave the road for audiences to really embrace the film. Gravity was produced, shot and all the post-production done here in the UK. I had the privilege of working with hundreds of talented British artists and I share this with all of them. I’d like to single out everyone at Framestore; our incredible crew, particularly our cinematographer and my dear friend Chivo [Emmanuel Lubezki]; our visual effects supervisor Tim Webber; my producing partner, David Heyman; and my son and co-writer, Jonas. Lastly, I’d like to thank Sandra Bullock who fully conveyed the emotional journey of this character – the heartbeat of this story.”

In addition, Gravity scooped the ‘eye-popping’ Visual Effects regional film award for Tim Webber, its visual effects supervisor, at an event hosted by Miquita Oliver at the Café de Paris in London’s West End.

Cate Blanchett’s winning streak continued as she took the regional critics’ Best Actress award for her performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. The critics’ Screenwriter of the year was Spike Jonze for Her, which opens in UK cinemas on 14 February.

The awards are named in honour of their founding patron, Richard Attenborough, who was born in Cambridge but spent his childhood in Leicester. He made his screen debut in the 1942 Noel Coward/David Lean film, In Which We Serve, while still a student at RADA. In 1969 came the first of twelve movies as producer/director, Oh, What A Lovely War. He is undoubtedly best known for Gandhi, 1982 winner of eight Oscars and five BAFTAs, including Best Picture and Best Director on both sides of the Atlantic. Lord Attenborough’s many films in front of the cameras include Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, Doctor Dolittle, Jurassic Park and Miracle on 34th Street. More information at: www.richard-attenborough.com.


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