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Women's work -- in the spotlight

There was plenty of festive spirit on display at Friday’s Sky Women in Film and TV Awards at London’s Park Lane Hilton.

The lunch and afternoon soiree (now in its 22nd year) has become the de-facto start of the holiday season for London’s film and TV executives – this year’s tickets sold out in a record 30 minutes.

Sue Perkins hosted the day with terrific style – she introduced herself saying “you’re thinking, Christ! One of the Proclaimers has really let themselves go,” before launching into a series of Bake Off-themed jokes.

Danny Boyle drew some of the biggest cheers of the day when he presented the ENVY Producer Award to Tracey Seaward, a longtime film producer who produced Boyle’s lauded Olympics opening ceremony.

My Brother The Devil writer/director Sally El Hosaini (a former Screen Star of Tomorrow) won the FremantleMedia UK New Talent Award and told a quip about plagiarizing an Enid Blyton story at age 7.

We Need To Talk About Kevin director Lynne Ramsay, who won the Deluxe Digital London Director Award, sent a video message from Los Angeles where she is preparing to shoot (starting Monday) a Western dcalled Jane Got a Gun starring Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender. She noted that the film’s themes were female-friendly. “It’s my first action movie,” she said. “And a woman is the last man standing. It’s a revisionist Western.” She added that she was missing Branston Pickle and HP Sauce while working stateside.

David Mitchell and Robert Webb presented the MAC Best Performance Award to a teary Olivia Colman for Tyrannosaur and The Iron Lady. She said “I feel like a very lucky thing. It’s down to the people who wrote beautiful parts for women.” 

Jana Bennett, on accepting the Broadcast and Screen Contribution to The Medium Award, joked that the prize “means I’m not truly only a suit.” She added: “We need to push for women to be at the top of the industry and stay there.”

Clare Balding [pictured] got a rapturous response picking up the ITV Studios Achievement Of The Year Award, and got an especially big cheer when she said, “I take the award on behalf of all of the women in sports television…I think it’s important for young girls who are, I hope, watching us and thinking ‘that’s a job I want to do’ to know that warmth, humour, intelligence, doing your homework; that’s what matters. I’m not getting this award because of what I look like, or my dress sense.”

Ruth Caleb,  whose credits include Last Resort, The Other Boleyn Girl and A Short Stay In Switzerland, was a gracious winner of the EON Productions Lifetime Achievement Award and said “I suspect this award is really for surviving the BBC,” where she’s worked for 47 years. “This Lifetime Achievement Award is for the life I have ahead of me, not behind,” she said.

Full list of winner here

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