David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes Chosen to Receive a BFI Fellowship

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LONDON – David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes have been chosen by the British Film Institute to pick up the institution’s highest accolade, the BFI Fellowship.

The duo will be among the honorees during this year’s BFI London Film Festival’s awards soiree held on the penultimate evening of the festival.

This year’s best film award nominees -- selected by artistic director Sandra Hebron and the festival’s programming team – includes Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, the only U.S. title on the shortlist.

Also in the running for best film is Fernando Meirelles’s 360, which opens the festival, Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist, Terence Davies’s festival closer The Deep Blue Sea, Aleksandr Sukurov’s Faust, Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s The Kid With A Bike, Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna and We Need to Talk About Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay.

Emmy and Golden Globe winner Gillian Anderson, director John Madden, the BAFTA-winning writer and director Asif Kapadia, BAFTA-winning producer Tracey Seaward, writer Andrew O’Hagan and artist and film director Sam Taylor Wood will pick a winner from the list.

This year’s best British newcomer contains no producers this year unlike in previous years.

But Nirpal Bhogal, writer/director of Sket, will have to triumph over Sket actress Aimee Kelly while Tom Cullen and Chris New, both nominated for their turns in Weekend, will have to nullify each other’s challenge as well as the rest of the nominations to secure the prize.

Also vying for the newcomer plaudit is director Nick Murphy for The Awakening, actress Candese Reid for her turn in Junkhearts, a film for which director Tinge Krishnan is also nominated. D.R Hood, writer and director of Wreckers, completes the nomination lineup.

Deciding who will emerge triumphant will be actress Anne-Marie Duff, actor Tom Hollander, producer and director of the National Film and Television School Nik Powell, TV presenter Edith Bowman and producer Stephen Woolley on a jury chaired by producer Andy Harries.

The festival will also dish out the Sutherland Award, presented to the director of the most original and imaginative feature debut in the festival and the Grierson award for best documentary for a film unspooling during the shindig’s two weeks.

Flying the stars and stripes among this year’s Sutherland nominees are Braden King for Here and Mark Jackson for his film Without.

Cronenberg is the first Canadian to be honored with a BFI Fellowship.

The festival runs October 12 through 27.

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