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Sam Mendes- Winner's Acceptance Speech, Director, EE British Academy Film Awards in 2020

2 February 2020

Winner's acceptance speech by Sam Mendes for 1917 in the Best Director 

Thank you very much.  Thank you very, very much, BAFTA.

In the midst of all this hoopla and stuff, it's sometimes easy to forget the actual experience of shooting a movie, and I had a kind of director's paradise in this film that I think I will never, ever have again.  So I want to say a real thank you to the people who actually helped me make this film.

To three amazing producers, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall, and my dear friend, who I have known since I was 14 years old, Pippa Harris.  The best producers.  Really the best, the most supportive.  

To an incredible cast, to George MacKay, who was extraordinary in this film, and Dean-Charles Chapman, and to the classiest bunch of day players a director could ever have: Andrew Scott, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Richard Madden, incredible cast.  Thank you.  

Thank you to the most extraordinary crew, and especially to four people: my production designer and friend, Dennis Gassner; to the brilliant Tom Newman for his music; to the extraordinary unsung hero of this move, who was Lee Smith, the editor; and especially to Roger Deakins, the master himself.  Thank you to all of them.

And, yes, it's a war movie that we made, but it's also a movie about home and about family, so it's moving for me to get this in my hometown for the first time, and to be able to say thank you to my beautiful family, to say thank you to my children, Joe and Phoebe, and the splendidly attired Charlie, who is sitting with us tonight, and of course especially to my inspiration, my beautiful wife, Ali, this is for you.  Thank you very much indeed.