Steve McQueen earns BFI fellowship award at London Film Festival


Oscar-winning film director Steve McQueen has been awarded the British Film Institute's most prestigious accolade as the London Film Festival celebrated its 60th anniversary.

He was presented with the BFI Fellowship on Saturday by Michael Fassbender at a special awards dinner hosted by Michael Sheen and with special guests Alicia Vikander, Anna Friel, David Tennant and Lily James.

Certain Women, directed by Kelly Reichardt, picked up the prize for this year's best film.

Kelly Reichardt attends a special screening of her film.

A panel of jurors described the film, which follows the lives of three Montana women, as: "A humane and poignant story that calibrates with startling vulnerability and delicate understatement the isolation, frustrations and loneliness of lives unlived in a quiet corner of rural America."

Julian Ducournau's Raw - a playful coming-of-age horror tale - was presented with the Sutherland Award for the most original and imaginative first feature of the festival.

Sarah Gavron, director of last year's hit film Suffragette, presided over the jury's decision and said of the film: "The bold charismatic acting of the women is at the centre of a film that is both unique and unsettling and will quite literally make some swoon".

Sarah Gavron at the NY premiere of Suffragette a year ago.

The prize for most original, technical and culturally important documentary went to Mehrdad Oskouei's Starless Dreams, which portrays juvenile delinquent women at the extreme margins of Iranian society.

Best short film was 9 Days - From My Window in Aleppo, a joint production by Syrian photographer Issa Touma, Thomas Vroege and Floor van de Muelen.

Jury president Mat Kirkby said: "Not only does his documentary show what one person, one camera and a restricted view of an alleyway can do to reveal something as complex, confusing, and terrifying as a civil war, but also it demonstrates the power of film to reach the wider world, and make those of us more fortunate re-assess the freedom we take for granted."