BAFTA New York for the second year in a row was a major presence at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
A highlight of this year’s Hamptons International Film Festival was the BAFTA New York co-sponsored Focus on UK Film; a lineup that showcased new UK productions featuring notable British talent working in front of and behind the cameras.
The centerpiece of this year’s “Focus on UK Film” was the presentation of the Golden Starfish Award for Lifetime Achievement to Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner co-chairs of the British production powerhouse Working Title Films. Both Bevan and Fellner were on hand to accept the award and longtime collaborators Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Edgar Wright (The World’s End, Shaun of the Dead) came to regale and honor them.
Notable guests in attendance included Liza Chasin, President of Working Title US; Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBC Universal; actor, author and producer Bob Balaban.
The awards ceremony was followed by a lively chat featuring Bevan, Fellner, Curtis and Wright moderated by the Museum of Modern Art’s chief film curator, Raj Roy.
During the discussion the creatives pointed out the very real working difficulties behind the rosy success story. Curtis noted “almost every single one of my films has been in some kind of crisis,” a view echoed by Fellner’s that “most movies are painful for us in some way or another.”
With no easy answer to how they paved the road to their esteemed standing, Fellner opined that “story and concept will always be keys to any film success,” while Bevan noted it was essential to “having always done films on a slate basis,” in order to take the chances that led to their biggest wins.~
In addition to the Tribute, “Focus on UK Film” hosted a screening of Working Title Films’ newest production About Time, written and directed by Richard Curtis and starring Domnhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy. Other highlights of the Focus on UK Film included Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman, Stephen Frears’ Philomena starring Dame Judi Dench, the Scottish documentary co-production Kiss the Water and BBC AMERICA’s Burton and Taylor starring Helena Bonham Carter. Both Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes attended the Festival in support of their respective films.