October 18 2014
Top award for novice – bright future ahead…
SAMEENA JABEEN AHMED has scooped the Best British Newcomer award in this year’s London Film Festival.
The first time feature actor received her accolade from British film and TV star James Corden on Saturday evening as the curtain is about to draw on the 12-day festival in the capital.
Ahmed is the star of the film, “Catch Me Daddy”, which charts the fate of teenager Laila, as she elopes with her white boyfriend only to by hunted down by her brother and other gruesome characters on her trail.
Jury president Finola Dwyer, the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated film producer, announcing the result, said: “We were unanimous in our decision to award actress Sameena Jabeen Ahmed the Best British Newcomer Award for her breakout performance in ‘Catch Me Daddy‘.
“Sameena’s performance was very assured, confident and fearless. In the lead role of ‘Laila’, Sameena’s range of emotion was breathtaking; she was the heartbeat of the film.”
Shot on the Yorkshire Moors, it is uncompromising and brutal and demands a huge emotional range from first timer Ahmed. It is some achievement.
She even managed to beat off the challenge from the directors and writers of the film, Daniel and Matthew Wolfe, who were also nominated for this prize alongside Guy Myhill, writer/director of “The Goob”; Florence Pugh, supporting actor “The Falling”; Rebecca Johnson, writer/director “Honeytrap”; Taron Egerton, actor “Testament of Youth“, and Alex Lawther, supporting actor “The Imitation Game”.
The award is presented to the most promising writer, actor, producer or director with no previous track record in feature films or television.
On this year’s Jury alongside Dywer for this prize were novelist Monica Ali, Corden, actor-director Dexter Fletcher and BAFTA award winning screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh.
The Indian feature “Labour of Love” missed out on the Sutherland Award, presented to the director of the most original and imaginative feature, to the much acclaimed “The Tribe”, which also scooped the critics prize at Cannes earlier this year.
The Best Film at the festival went to Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan”. The Jury also commended Celine Sciamma’s “Girlhood” about a young black girl’s search for identity in a rundown Paris suburban estate.
The Documentary prize, the Grierson Award went to “Silvered Water, Syria Self Portrait“.
The BFI also presented a fellowship to director Stephen Frears.
All the awards were presented at a ceremony the Banqueting House in Whitehall yesterday evening. The festival closes with a gala screening of the war-time drama “Fury”, starring Brad Pitt this evening.
*More reviews and interviews from the festival coming, including “Catch Me Daddy”, “Dukhtar“, “Labour of Love“, “Court“, “Margarita With A Straw”.
Images: From last evening’s award ceremony with James Corden and still from ‘Catch Me Daddy’