Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, Jane Campion’s Bright Star and Sam Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy are among the nine contenders for The Times BFI London Film Festival’s inaugural best film award.
The category is rounded out by Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, Micmacs by Jean-Pierre Jeunet , Robert Connolly’s Balibo, Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet, John Hillcoat ‘s The Road and A Serious Man by Ethan and Joel Cohen.
The award will be handed out on October 28th at LFF’s first standalone awards event, which will be presented by UK broadcaster Paul Gambaccini. As well as best film, it will also award the best British newcomer for the first time. It will be given to a writer, producer or director making their feature debut at the festival.
The festival’s existing awards - the Sutherland Trophy, for most original and imaginative first feature, and the Grierson Awards for best feature-length documentary – will also be presented that night.
A special statuette called the Star of London has been designed for the winners by acclaimed British sculptor Almuth Tebbenhoff.
Two British Film Institute fellowships will also be given out at the prize ceremony: to actor John Hurt and to African director Souleymane Cissé.
LFF has also revealed the juries for this year’s awards. Hollywood star Anjelica Huston has joined the best film category alongside director Iain Softely, actress Charlotte Rampling, singer Jarvis Cocker and director, writer and actor Mathieu Kassovitz.
The jury for the Sutherland Trophy will comprise producer and actora David Parfitt, actress Kerry Fox, writer and director Paul Greengrass, writer and TV director Edgar Wright, film-maker Matt Bochenski, artist Gillian Wearing, Sara Frain, managing director of UK distributior Metrodome and Mark Cosgrove.
The Grierson Aweard will be judged by documentary-makers Nick Broomfield, Molly Dineen, Christo Hird and Ellen Fleming, who sits on the Grierson Trust board.
While, the best British newcomer award will be decided by Film4 chief Tessa Ross, Christine Langan, the creative director of BBC Films, film producer and financier Lenny Crooks and Harry Potter producer Tanya Seghatchian.
“I’m thrilled to be presenting the first standalone London Film Festival Awards. The best film festival is now old enough for its own awards ceremony. So am I. I hope we make a great team,” said veteran DJ Paul Gambaccini.
The LFF runs October 14 – 29.
Awards Shortlists 2009
Dir: Robert Connolly
Bright Star (UK/Australia)
Dir: Jane Campion
Fantastic Mr. Fox (UK)
Dir: Wes Anderson
Dir: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Nowhere Boy (UK)
Dir: Sam Taylor Wood
A Prophet (France)
Dir: Jacques Audiard
The Road (US)
Dir: John Hillcoat
A Serious Man (US)
Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
The White Ribbon (Germany/Austria/France/Italy)
Dir: Michael Haneke
SUTHERLAND AWARD SHORTLIST
Dirs: Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani
Bunny And The Bull (UK)
Dir: Paul King
Cold Souls (US/France)
Dir: Sophie Barthes
Eyes Wide Open (Israel)
Dir: Haim Tabakman
Dir: Samuel Maoz
Dir: Tarik Saleh
Samson & Delilah (Australia)
Dir: Warwick Thornton
Shirley Adams (South Africa/US)
Dir: Oliver Hermanus
Wah Do Dem (US/Jamaica)
Dir: Sam Fleischner, Ben Chace
Dir: Vasili Sigarev
BEST BRITISH NEWCOMER SHORTLIST
Malcolm Venville - director, 44 Inch Chest
J Blakeson - director, The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Jordan Scott - director, Cracks
Lindy Heymann - director, Kicks
Leigh Campbell - writer,Kicks
Tom Harper - director, The Scouting Book For Boys
Jack Thorne - writer, The Scouting Book For Boys
GRIERSON AWARD SHORTLIST
Dirs: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (France/US)
Dir: Frederick Wiseman
Dir: Yoav Shamir
Have You Heard From Johannesburg: The Bottom Line (US)
Dir: Connie Field
His & Hers (Ireland)
Dir: Ken Wardrop
Mugabe And The White Afrcian (UK)
Dirs: Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson
Osadne (Slovakia/Czech Republic)
Dir: Marko Škop
Dir: Greg Barker