53rd BFI London Film Festival

Cannes has the Palme d’Or, Berlin has the Silver Bear and Venice has the Golden Lion, now the London Film Festival has its own prestigious gong to bestow – the Star of London.

The first ever Star of London awards (designed by sculptor Almuth Tebbenhoff) will be handed out at a dedicated awards ceremony – another Festival first – at London’s Inner Temple on 28th October. Hosted by Paul Gambaccini, the ceremony will see the presentation of two new awards– the Best Film Award and the Best British Newcomer – alongside existing Festival accolades the Sutherland Trophy (awarded to the most original and imaginative first feature) and the Grierson Award (for best documentary). Two BFI Fellowships, to British actor John Hurt and Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé, will also be bestowed at the ceremony.

Star of London award designed by sculptor Almuth Tebbenhoff

The new ceremony and the new awards are unmistakable signs that the London Film Festival wants to gain a higher and more glitzy profile in the world’s film calendar. In the past, the LFF has never sought to vie with the likes of Cannes, Berlin and Venice, but the Festival is clearly getting more ambitious.

Here’s the shortlist for this year’s Best Film Award, to be decided by a jury chaired by Anjelica Huston and comprising John Akomfrah, Jarvis Cocker, Matthieu Kassovitz, Charlotte Rampling and Iain Softley.

Bright Star
Fantastic Mr Fox
Nowhere Boy
A Prophet
The Road
A Serious Man
The White Ribbon

This year’s festival kicks off on 14th October with the world premiere of one of the shortlisted titles – Wes Anderson’s animated screen version of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic Fantastic Mr Fox.