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Metfilm School

MetFilm School Proudly Sponsors London Critics Circle Awards 2024

By Elise Czyzowska

06 February 2024

On Sunday 4 February, MetFilm School were proud to join the wider industry in celebrating the very best of film at the 2024 London Critics Circle Awards, hosted at The May Fair.

The evening also included two special awards, the newly-honoured Derek Malcolm Award for Innovation, which went to Colman Domingo, and the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, which went to Emmy, Tony, and Globe-winning actor, Jeffrey Wright.

‘I am genuinely humbled by this honour’, Jeffrey began his speech. ‘My two children are dual citizens of the US and the UK, their mother, to whom I was married for 13 years, is a Londoner. And I’ve spent many months over the course of my career working in this city. So, if there’s anything I’ve learnt from these combined experiences… it is that you’re a tough crowd to please!’

Breakthrough Performer of the Year

The first award of the night, was Breakthrough Performer of the Year, presented by MetFilm Director, Jonny Persey. The nominees included:

  • Mia Mckenna-Bruce (How to Have Sex)
  • Greta Lee (Past Lives)
  • Cailee Spaeny (Priscilla)
  • Vivian Oparah (Rye Lane)
  • Dominic Sessa (The Holdovers)

‘As a school and a production and distribution company’, Jonny Persey began, ‘we are so proud to be sponsoring this award’.

‘All five of the nominees are already incredible role models for each and every one of the 15,000 graduates that we have working in front of and behind the camera, across the Film & TV industries worldwide.’

The award was given to Mia Mckenna-Bruce for her performance in the debut feature How to Have Sex. Mia’s performance has also won ‘Best Lead Performance’ at the British Independent Film Awards, and has been nominated for the this year’s BAFTA Rising Star. The film’s director, Molly Manning Walker, also won the Philip French for Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker.

L: Mia Mckenna-Bruce with Jonny Persey and Rich Cline, Chair of The Critics’ Circle | R: Mia Mckenna-Bruce & Molly Manning Walker

A Year of Independent Film

A particularly poignant message repeated throughout the awards – both by the presenters, and the winners, was the importance of the critics in propelling smaller or independent films to a wider audience. Celine Song, the Writer/Director of Past Lives, spoke about this during her winning speech for Foreign-Language Film of the Year:

It’s been so special to share my very first movie with a London audience – and it’s all owed to you. Every piece of this is owed to you.

I want to thank you for writing so passionately, intelligently, and consistently about our film.

Without your fierce advocacy, a movie like this – an independent film – wouldn’t have found such a passionate audience in London, which is now a city I love.

Celine SongWriter/Director, Past Lives

Andrew Scott, who won Actor of the Year for All Of Us Strangers, also echoed these sentiments, thanking the critics for ‘the beautiful way [they] spoke about the film’.

‘It really helps a film like ours,’ he continued, ‘it just launched it in the most extraordinary way, and it’s made a difference. I think it’s important to say that, for a film with a gay love story at the centre being number one in the box office in Ireland – and number one at some point this week in the UK… it ain’t nothing!’

The winning team behind All Of Us Strangers

MetFilm School at the London Critics Circle Awards

Throughout the evening, we were – as always – especially proud to be celebrating films that our graduates have been involved in. Special congratulations to:

Congratulations to all of our graduates for their hard work, as well as all of the nominees and winners at the 2024 London Critics Circle Awards – and especially to Breakthrough Performer, Mia Mckenna-Bruce.

Photography Credit: Dave Bennett