The UK’s regional press film journalists have named Atonement as their film of the year in the Richard Attenborough Film Awards 2008.
The British-made film also won the prizes for film-maker of the year, which went to director Joe Wright; actor of the year, for James McAlvoy and screenwriter of the year, Christopher Hampton.
Rising star of the year went to Sam Riley, 28, who played Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis in Control.
Actress of the year went to Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth: the Golden Age.
Regional arts/entertainment writers in all media, including critics and editors, staff and freelance, from around the UK voted throughout January to decide the winners.
Atonement producer Paul Webster said: ‘This film was shot entirely in England with a completely British cast and crew so it is especially thrilling that our film has been so honoured by the Richard Attenborough Film Awards.”
McAvoy said: ‘Atonement was both an emotional and a physical film to work on, and it was an honour to be among such a great cast and crew. I’m really proud to be a part of this film and excited to be taking home this award. My thanks go to Joe Wright and to the regional critics for their great vote of confidence. So often films like Atonement don’t get meaningful nationwide releases and I am so glad to see that it has been enjoyed throughout Britain.”
The event is organised by Cinema Days, part of the UK Film Distributors’ Association.
Peter Scott, Co-ordinator of Cinema Days, said: ‘Despite the shrinking world, local media remains highly influential. One-third of the population turns first to their trusted local media for editorial coverage and opinion of new films. We are thrilled with the response to the vote from regional journalists right across the UK and join Lord Attenborough in congratulating the winners – what a celebration of contemporary British cinema.”
Cinema Days are UK film industry trade events for regional journalists, critics and arts/entertainment writers held three times a year in January, June and October at a regional multiplex. Each event lasts four days (Thursday – Sunday) and includes preview screenings and press conferences.