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Richard Attenborough Film Awards Winners Announced

Cinema Days, the trade event for UK regional film journalists, has announced the results of the Richard Attenborough Film Awards 2008. The main winners in this, the first year of these awards, voted for by UK regional film journalists are:
  • Film of the year

  • Filmmaker of the year
    Joe Wright

  • Rising Star of the year
    Sam Riley

  • Actor of the year
    James McAvoy

  • Screenwriter of the year
    Christopher Hampton

Regional arts/entertainment writers in all media, including critics and editors, staff and freelance, participated from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth, Preston to Plymouth, Belfast to Birmingham, and many points in between.
Voting in the six categories took place online at from 3-28 January 2008.
Film of the year is 'Atonement', produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, and directed by Joe Wright. A home-grown critical and commercial hit on its UK cinema release in autumn 2007, the romantic drama is currently the focus of enormous attention in the international awards season.
Filmmaker of the year is Londoner, Joe Wright. Atonement is the second feature film he has directed, the first being the award-winning Pride & Prejudice (2005).
The UK regional critics' Rising Star of 2008 is Sam Riley. Aged 28, Riley was born and raised in Yorkshire. He had a small part in 24 Hour Party People (2002) but Control, directed by Anton Corbijn, gave him his first leading role. His spellbinding portrayal of Joy Division frontman, Ian Curtis, who committed suicide aged 23 in 1980, is attracting international acclaim.
Actor of the year is Glaswegian, James McAvoy, whose career has flourished since he was named BAFTA's Rising Star in 2006. UK cinemagoers have seen him over the last year in Becoming Jane and The Last King of Scotland, with Penelope and Wanted coming soon, but it is for his leading performance as Robbie in Atonement that he wins the Richard Attenborough Film Award.
Actress of the year is Cate Blanchett for her fierce yet vulnerable performance in the title role of Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
Christopher Hampton has scooped Screenwriter of the year, a new category introduced for the regional critics' 2008 awards. His screenplay for Atonement was adapted from Ian McEwan's novel published in 2001. A writer in various media for more than thirty years, Hampton previously won an Oscar for his script for Dangerous Liaisons (1988), adapted from his own stage play.
Lord Attenborough CBE said: "The last year has shown the cinema to be both resilient and innovative, with large audiences eager to enjoy the unique theatrical experience. It has also brought a superb crop of terrific films with compelling performances from both experienced and fresh talents. I offer my warmest congratulations to this admirable set of winners."
In recognition of their achievement, each winner will be presented by Cinema Days with a glass diamond mounted on a plinth, inscribed and engraved with Lord Attenborough's signature.
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