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Phoebe Waller-Bridge was among the many honorees at the U.K.’s 28th annual Women in Film & Television Awards, held on Friday at London’s Park Lane Hilton.
The Fleabag creator and Killing Eve writer-producer was awarded the writing award but was in Malta and unable to attend the ceremony.
Beryl Vertue, the veteran producer behind TV dramas such as Sherlock, said that Waller-Bridge was “part of the conversation” internationally.
“Despite her success, she continues to challenge herself. In her latest hit show, Killing Eve, she found an entirely original and compelling female item, consistently championing women’s stories,” she said. “She is making a difference for us all.”
In her opening remarks, Women in Film & TV chair Liz Tucker claimed that, in the past, people had asked her if the organization, part of an international network of more than 13,000 women that runs mentoring programs and lobbies for women in the industry, was necessary.
“Given the past couple of years, I don’t find that question [being asked] today,” she said.
Other winners included Jameela Jamil, an active body-image activist and star of sitcom The Good Place, who picked up the achievement of the year award. In a video message, she spoke about the barriers she faced when she decided to leave the U.K. to chase a career in the U.S.
“I still think we’re in a time where women are told ‘no’ and ‘don’t’ and ‘can’t’ way too often,” she said.
“Just three years ago, when I was 28, I left to go to America and I was told before I left by way too many people that I was ‘too old,’ ‘too fat’ and ‘too ethnic’ to start again in a new country, so I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to prove that you can start again in your 30s and you can be brown and you can be outspoken and you can still have a career.”
Rungano Nyoni, director of the BAFTA-winning dark satire I Am Not a Witch, which is the U.K.’s latest submission to the Academy Awards’ best foreign-language film race, won the new talent award (which she dedicated to her film’s young star Maggie Mulubwa), while Nicola Walker, a British TV regular recently seen in The Split, Collateral and Unforgotten and two-time BAFTA nominee for Last Tango in Halifax, claimed the best performance award.
Other winners included production manager Arabella Gilbert, whose credits include Jason Bourne and The Night Manager, editor Selina MacArthur, best known for her work on the likes of Doctor Who, Humans and the recent Black Mirror episode “USS Callister” and stunt double (and former Gladiator) Eunice Huthart, for her work standing in for Angelina Jolie (Salt, Mr & Mrs Smith), Famke Janssen (GoldenEye), Milla Jovovich and Uma Thurman.
Gill Isles took home the producer award for the Rose d’Or winning comedy Detectorists, Hettie Macdonald picked up the director award for her work on the latest adaptation of Howard’s End (presented by its star, Hayley Atwell), while Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor and Angela Barson won the business award for the VFX company the co-founded n 2009, BlueBolt, which has worked on The Little Drummer Girl, Holmes and Watson and Johnny English Strikes Again. The award was presented by Roma producer Gaby Rodriguez.
Elsewhere, award-winning doc-maker and producer Norma Percy (Inside Obama’s White House, The Iraq War, Putin, Russia and the West) received the contribution to the medium award, and two-time Emmy-winning doc-maker Deeyah Khan was named news and faction award winner.
The final honor, the lifetime achievement award, went to Juliet Stevenson, the four-time BAFTA nominee and Olivier winner best known for her roles in Emma, Bend It Like Beckham, Mona Lisa Smile, Being Julia, Infamous and Truly Madly Deeply.
“The portrayal of women on our screens has been a massive, obsessive preoccupation for me,” said Stevenson. “When I started to act, I realized how important it was to keep women out of boxes and not let them fall into stereotypes.”
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