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.”