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Senna wins BAFTAs for best documentary and best editing

Last night Asif Kapadia’s documentary, Senna, received BAFTAs for best documentary and editing at the annual awards ceremony which took place at the Royal Opera House in London. Other nominees for the prestigious prize were Martin Scorsese’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World, and James Marsh’s Project Nim.

The documentary, by director Asif Kapadia, about the life and work of Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna, swept up another two awards last night continuing its success story since it won the audience award at the 2011 Sundance Festival.

Editors Chris King and Gregers Sall won in the editing category from feature films Drive, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hugo and The Artist. Its competitors in the best documentary category were George Harrison: Living in the Material World and Project Nim. Senna was also nominated in the Outstanding British Film category but lost out to Tomas Alfredson’s thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

It is the first time since 1990 that BAFTA is presenting the documentary award. Documentaries have continued to be honoured since then but have been eligible in all relevant categories only. BAFTA’s film committee has this year chosen to re-introduce the specific category in recognition of the number of high-quality theatrical documentaries released in cinemas in the UK each year.

Filmmaker Ben Unwin, who reviewed the Senna for DocGeeks ahead of its US-release last year, said: “The story is told without the use of 
narration or talking heads but through a series of audio interviews and archive footage.
Editors Chris King and Gregers Sall give us a master class in how to weave together archive footage and turn it into something both intimate and larger than life at the same time.”

The film, though not nominated for an Oscar, already received a prize from the International Documentary Association (IDA) for Outstanding Documentary Editing and awards at events such as the LA film festival, the London Critics Circle Film Awards, the Evening Standard British Film Awards  and the British Independent Film Awards.



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Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentaries and the film production industry. When she is not blogging or watching films, she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.

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