Attenborough endorses regional film critics awards

The annual cinema award ceremony judged by regional film journalists and critics is to change its name to the Richard Attenborough Film Awards from next year.

The 2008 awards, until now named the UK Regional Critics’ Film Awards, will be judged exclusively by regional film journalists, staff or freelance, whose individual votes will be cast at www.cinemadays.com.

Lord Attenborough said: ‘Critics can highlight and champion new films they admire, contributing to the all-important word of mouth on their release.

‘As three quarters of UK cinema admissions take place outside the London area, I am only too pleased to support the regional critics in their appreciation and celebration of the finest filmmaking.”

Mike Polanyk, the entertainment editor at the Leicester Mercury, said: ‘It really is a wonderful honour to have the UK regional critics’ film awards named after Richard Attenborough, whose extraordinary career has inspired so many people working in film and media today.”

The first UK Regional Critics’ Film Awards ceremony was held in February this year.

The six categories include film of the year and filmmaker of the year. There are two new categories for 2008 – the public vote award and screenwriter of the year.

Journalists’ voting will open online at www.cinemadays.com on 4 January 2008 and will close on 27 January. The results are due to be announced on 31 January.

The event is organised by Cinema Days, which runs preview sessions three times a year for journalists and critics from regional media all over the UK. Seventeen films are previewed at each event, some of which are followed by press conferences.

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