11th Norwich Film Festival (Norwich, UK), BAFTA and BIFA qualifying event, honoured its six prestigious awards tonight with ‘Enjoy’ taking the Best British Film award and The Exit Plan winning the Best International Film Award.
Out of nearly 1,300 international submissions, short films Enjoy, The Exit Plan, Absolution, Clown, Night of the Living Dread and One for the Road received their award at Norwich University of the Arts at a special ceremony sponsored by HolidayCottages.co.uk. This year’s winners tell moving stories about men’s mental health, escapism, survival and climate change.
The international jury, including Jessica Hynes, Michael Sheen, Brenda Chapman, Edith Bowman and Anwen, Lady Hurt reviewed 24 nominees, making a tough call for the final cut. Now in its 11th year, the globally recognised festival attracts more films each year making it a sought-after platform for directors, producers, writers and actors to be featured.
Going for a hybrid festival screening ensures local, national and international audiences are able to view more than 130 films in person and online. This is the final weekend when you can watch the festival’s Official Selection in person, ranging from sci-fi and international shorts to emerging talent and environmental films. All films are available to view online until Tuesday 30 November.
Norwich Film Festival 2021 Winners
- Best British Film, sponsored by Arnolds Keys – Enjoy, Director Saul Abraham and Producers Gabriele Lo Giudice and Nick Rowell. Key cast: Himesh Patel, Sara Stewart, Maddy Hill, Tom Sweet and Jonathan Aris.
- Best International Film, sponsored by VisitNorwich – The Exit Plan, Director/ Producer Angus Wilkinson and Producers James Buckingham and Ella Cook. Cast: Marcia Warren and Paapa Essiedu.
- Best East Anglian Film, sponsored by University of East Anglia – Absolution, Director Duncan Christie and Producer Al Eales. Key cast: Elizabeth Bouckley and Raphael Zari.
- Best Documentary Film, sponsored by Spire Solicitors – Clown, Director/ Producer Shane O’Neill. Key cast: Mattie Faint and David Sterne.
- Best Animated Film, sponsored by Meantime Media – Night of the Living Dread, Director Ida Melum and Producer Danielle Goff. Key cast: Jessica Dennis, Stephen Fry and Romy Hayhurst.
- Best Student Film, Norwich University of the Arts – One for the Road, Director Eileen Tracey, and Producers Milena Bolouri and Julia Sander. Key cast: Lynn Hunter and Catrin Stewart.
Short film Enjoy’s writer Callum Cameron explained during this week’s podcast what made him write a script about mental health: “The story comes from a biographical period of my life and then I wrote the script and sent it to Saul. He kind of saw parallels and we wanted to explore how we as men, and lots of other men we know, how they deal with their mental health.”
Kellen Playford, Founder and Lead Consultant of Norwich Film Festival, said: “It has been a superb experience seeing people come to the cinema and watch great films. We are incredibly impressed with the topics that were explored in this year’s films such as men’s mental health in Enjoy and climate change in One for the Road. Films are creative journeys but can also be helpful guides.”
Norwich Film Festival 2021 attracted talented filmmakers from around the world, including from the UK, US, Israel, China, Lebanon and continental Europe.
The festival is proud to receive the support of headline sponsors BFI Film Audience Network, Gasway, Norwich Business Improvement District, Norwich City Council and the University of East Anglia.
Tickets for this weekend are available at www.norwichfilmfestival.co.uk/events/
Photo Credits: Luke Witcomb