In the photo above, Elle Fanning watches as Sally Potter signs Sandy Powell's jacket. These were the first signatures on the garment, which Powell plans to wear to Bafta and Oscar before auctioning it to benefit the charity that is working to save Prospect Cottage, the late filmmaker Derek Jarman's home in Dungeness: CLICK HERE FOR INFO. All photos are by Dave Benett, and you can see them larger by clicking on them.
Our host for the evening was actor-writer Sally Phillips, who kicked things off with a riotously irreverent opening monologue and never let the pace flag. Her inventive, hilarious running commentary kept the mood light, intimate and celebratory.
Our first special award of the evening was The London Critics' 40th Anniversary Award, which went to the animation powerhouse Aardman. Founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton were on hand, with a couple of pals, to accept the prize.
In the middle of the ceremony we gave our our second special honour, The Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, which Elle Fanning came along to present to writer-director Sally Potter. Fanning's first film role was in Potter's Ginger & Rosa, and she also stars in her next project The Roads Not Taken, which had an exclusive clip in her introductory reel in advance of the film's world premiere next month in Berlin.
The third special prize came right at the end of the ceremony, as the gifted costume designer Sandy Powell also won The Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film. Producers Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen presented the award to her on-stage.
And after an astonishing year of expertly immersive scene-stealing work in The Lighthouse, The King and High Life, Robert Pattinson won British/Irish Actor, noting, "I'm happy that I'm allowed to play crazy people in movies so that I don't have to be crazy in real life." Of course, his very active fan base immediately went nuts on Twitter. And one other award had a multiple acceptance...
For Documentary of the Year, For Sama directors Edward Watts and Waad Al-Kateab sent a video explaining their absence: "We're in Washington trying to meet Congresspeople, spreading our message to stop bombing hospitals, trying to get people to care about Syria even though it's impeachment time!" Meanwhile, Waad's husband Hamza Al-Kateab, who is featured in the film, and their colleague Afraa Hashem took to the stage to deliver a powerful plea on behalf of the people of Syria.
Part of my job was of course to thank the sponsors, because the entire event could never happen without them. New partners this year included our headline sponsor Pearl Pictures Productions, Fitz English sparkling wine, Whitney Neill Gin, Vestal Vodka and Double Dutch mixers, which joined our returning venue sponsor The May Fair, Remy Martin and our official car Audi.
And here are some more photos of our guests this year...
|Nominees Jessie Buckley (for Wild Rose and Judy) and Raffey Cassidy (Vox Lux)
|Nominees Noah Jupe (Honey Boy and Ford v Ferrari) and Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman)
|Actor Mike Beckingham and producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley
|Producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff (Joker and The Irishman) and nominated composer Daniel Pemberton (Motherless Brooklyn)
|Special guests included filmmakers Hannah and Jake Graf and actor-musician Ruby Turner
|Obviously, the photo of the night.