Aronofsky, Leigh shortlisted for BFI film award

By Jennifer Lipman, September 29, 2010
Mike Leigh's Another Year stars Jim Broadbent

Mike Leigh's Another Year stars Jim Broadbent

Two Jewish directors have been nominated for the Best Film award at this year’s London Film Festival.

Darren Aronofsky has made the shortlist for the thriller Black Swan, which stars the Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman as a ballerina consumed by jealousy of her co-star.

Mr Aronofsky, who is engaged to Jewish star Rachel Weisz, won the prestigious Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2008 for The Wrestler.

Secrets and Lies director Mike Leigh has also been nominated for Another Year, a film about a contented married couple who offer sanctuary to their troubled friends.

Natalie Portman stars in Black Swan

Natalie Portman stars in Black Swan

It was considered a strong favourite for the Palm D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but lost out to the Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

The film Never Let Me Go, which is to open the 54th BFI festival on October 13, has also been shortlisted. It stars Jewish actor Andrew Garfield, currently appearing on screen in the Facebook film The Social Network.

Judges said the shortlist “showcases…a diverse range of films from some of the most exciting filmmakers around."

Californian filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev has also been shortlisted for the Grierson Award for Best Documentary. Mr Bar-Lev, whose father is from Israel, has been recognised for The Tillman Story, a look at the life and death of an American soldier in Afghanistan.

The jury panel for the award will be chaired by Kevin Macdonald, who made One Day in September, an award-winning documentary about the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

Mr Macdonald said: "The list of documentaries showing at this year’s LFF is mouth-wateringly good.

“What could be more fun than getting to see all these great films for free and then getting to passionately argue about them with my fellow jurors?"

The winner of the Best Film award will be announced on October 27.

Watch the trailer for Black Swan here

Last updated: 3:20pm, January 28 2011