The Walt Disney Company, Altitude, Paramount Pictures and Mubi were among the winners at The Big Screen Awards, which recognises excellence in UK marketing, distribution, publicity and exhibition.
The Big Screen Awards were rebranded from the Screen Awards, last held in 2019, and were unveiled tonight (November 24) at a ceremony in The Brewery, London, with comedian Phil Wang on hosting duties.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK & Ireland won a special distributor of the decade award, recognising 10 years of achievement. The company has released 145 titles in theatres since 2013 totalling £2.21bn at the UK and Ireland box office, making it the decade’s top distributor with a 20.5% share. The award was collected by Lee Jury, senior vice president of studio content marketing and co-head of Walt Disney Studios UK/EMEA.
The distributor of year – independent award went to Altitude, which was praised for its support of cinemas coming out of the pandemic, including the release of Minari into cinemas when venues reopened last year. “[They] gave cinema audiences something to come back for at a time when new product was badly needed,” said one judge.
Paramount Pictures UK picked up the new blockbuster of the year award for Top Gun: Maverick. The award shines a spotlight on the studio campaigns that galvanised audiences to return to cinemas. Top Gun grossed a huge $102m at the UK box office after star Tom Cruise held out for its cinema release during Covid.
Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, released in the UK by Universal, won the best British film award, voted for in an online poll by readers from a shortlist selected by Screen International’s senior editors. Jamie Dornan and Jude Hill appeared by video link to accept the award.
PHD UK & Warner Bros won theatrical campaign of the year (200 sites and over) for The Batman, with judges praising the villain-centric approach taken as ”ballsy”, “striking” and “brave”.
Mubi won theatrical campaign of the year for a title released into 199 sites or under as well as the international feature film campaign of the year awards for The Worst Person In The World. The film passed £1m at the UK and Ireland box office, in part due to a “cheesy but brilliant” Valentine’s Day marketing campaign.
Documentary campaign went to Dartmouth Films for Eric Ravilious: Drawn To War, with event cinema campaign going to Empire Street Productions and National Theatre Live for NT Live: Prima Facie, which starred Jodie Comer and was seen by more than 300,000 people.
For this year’s rebranded awards, several new prizes were introduced, including breakthrough British filmmaker, which went to Boiling Point director Philip Barantini, and breakthrough British actor, awarded to Honor Swinton Byrne, who most recently starred in Joanna Hogg’s The Eternal Daughter and The Souvenir films.
There were three other new categories for 2022. Big screen event of the year went to the 2022 edition of the Glasgow Film Festival, which achieved a record high of 73% audience capacity on its first in-person edition post-Covid.
The green screen award, honouring a company that put sustainable practices first, went to Lewes-based independent cinema Depot. The diversity and inclusion initiative prize, recognising inspirational work towards creating a more inclusive industry, was awarded to the BFI London Film Festival’s critics mentorship programme.
Other returning awards included PR campaign of the year, which was won by Premier’s “smart, funky and funny” campaign for Prano Bailey-Bond’s horror Censor.
The cinema of the year prizes went to Ilkley Cinema (for 24 screens and under) and Cineworld Basildon (for 25 screens and over).
Vue Entertainment won cinema marketing campaign of the year for ’Get Lost in Great Stories — Jurassic World Dominion’.
Cineworld’s Olivia Ter-Berg won the industry rising star category; Picturehouse Entertainment & Intermission Film took home the ever-competitive poster of the year prize for The Reason I Jump; Ali & Ava won trailer of the year for Altitude and Intermission Film; and Into Film & Universal Pictures UK won brand partnership of the year for their No Time To Die schools marketing partnership.
Finally, the Cinema First achievement award went to cinema programmer Roy Gower, who worked at ABC Cinemas (which became Cineworld in 2006) from 1975 to 2014, before joining Everyman Cinemas, where he worked as director of film until his retirement in 2021.
Modern Films were highly commended for two key awards: distributor of the year - independent, and international feature film campaign of the year for Drive My Car.
The full list of nominations is here.
Sponsors for the evening included: Eikon, MediCinema and Powster. The event was in association with Cinema First and the UK Cinema Association.
The full list of winners
Distributor of the year - independent
Highly commended: Modern Films
Distributor of the decade
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK & Ireland
Blockbuster release of the year
Top Gun Maverick, Paramount Pictures UK
Best British film of the year
Belfast, UK distributor: Universal; producers: Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas
Theatrical campaign of the year (200 sites and over)
The Batman, PHD UK & Warner Bros
Theatrical campaign of the year (199 sites and under)
The Worst Person In The World, Mubi
International feature film campaign of the year
The Worst Person In The World, Mubi
Highly commended: Drive My Car, Modern Films
Documentary film campaign of the year
Eric Ravilious: Drawn To War, Dartmouth Films
Event cinema campaign of the year
NT Live: Prima Facie, Empire Street Productions, National Theatre Live
Breakthrough British actor
Honor Swinton Byrne
Breakthrough British filmmaker
PR campaign of the year
Cinema of the year (25 screens or over)
Highly commended: Tivoli Cheltenham
Cinema of the year (24 screens or under)
Cinema marketing campaign of the year
Get Lost in Great Stories (Jurassic World: Dominion), Vue Entertainment
Big screen event of the year
Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow Film
Highly commended: Gentleminions Screenings, Vue Entertainment
Diversity & inclusion initiative
Critics mentorship programme, BFI London Film Festival
Highly commended: LGBTQI+ Weekly Film Club, Rio Cinema
Green screen award
Industry rising star award
Olivia Ter-Berg, Cineworld
Poster design of the year
The Reason I Jump, Picturehouse Entertainment
Trailer of the year
Ali & Ava, Altitude and Intermission Film
Brand partnership of the year
No Time To Die schools marketing partnership, Into Film & Universal Pictures UK
Cinema First achievement award