On Friday 6 December 2019 the 29th Women in Film & Television (UK) Awards took place at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Hosted for the sixth year by broadcaster and presenter Sandi Toksvig, the event celebrated 2019’s most talented and inspiring women in the film and television industry across a total of fourteen categories including directing, performance, producing, business and project management.
With a career spanning almost 50 years presenter, actor, producer and writer of over 30 children’s books Floella Benjamin was honoured with The EON Productions Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to her by stage and screen actress, and Gold Digger star Nikki Amuka-Bird.
Speaking at the ceremony Benjamin said:
“I am absolutely honoured and thrilled to be receiving The Lifetime Achievement Award as I have long admired the WFTV Awards because it is a fantastic celebration of all women in the TV and film industry. The awards are such an important event and I feel I am representing the contribution made by those in the Children’s industry by accepting this prestigious award and I thank WFTV for this recognition”.
BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman was awarded The EIKON Presenter Award by her good friend and fellow presenter Kirsty Young, with Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee taking home The ScreenSkills Writing Award presented by John Lloyd, and actress Cherylee Houston took home The ITV Studios Achievement of the Year accolade, presented by her Coronation Street co-star Rula Lenska.
The Walking Dead star Samantha Morton was presented with The Best Performance Award by Julian Rhind-Tutt whom she performed alongside in Harlots earlier this year, while Laurie Nunn, writer and creator of Sex Education, was presented with The Netflix New Talent Award by Meera Syal.
Newsreader and journalist Katya Adler took home The BBC News and Factual Award presented to her by Angela Rippon, and Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy handed Head of Channel 4 News, Dorothy Byrne, The Argonon Contribution to the Medium Award.
Celebrating the brilliant creative work of women behind the scenes, this year founder of Sister Pictures, Jane Featherstone, was presented with The Barclays Business Award by Emily Watson in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the industry, and Helena Bonham-Carter presented The Deluxe Director Award to her ‘favourite director’ Jessica Hobbs, whom she worked with on The Crown.
The Envy Producer Award went to Faye Ward presented by Steve Coogan who starred in Stan and Ollie, which was produced by Ward, while Mel Giedroyc presented Emma Oxley, who edited Good Omens, with The Technicolor Creative Technology Award. Sound Mixer Judi Lee-Headman, whose recent work includes The Capture and Britannia received The Craft Award by Britannia star David Morrissey and the Project Management Award went to Jo Burn and was presented by Stacey Dooley.
Liz Tucker, Chair and Acting CEO of WFTV said “What our WFTV Awards demonstrate more vividly than any data or survey is the huge number of talented women working in film and TV in the UK. Today is our chance to celebrate them and their achievements and inspire women working throughout our industry to send a very clear message that there should be no limit to their ambitions.”
WFTV Awards presenter Sandi Toksvig added “I never cease to be overwhelmed by the sheer level of talent and brilliance at the WFTV Awards. I come back year after year to host them, because there simply is no other event like this in the film and TV calendar. To be in the same room as all these amazing and inspiring women makes this such an uplifting and inspiring day.”
The prestigious awards ceremony saw a wealth of talent from stage and screen in attendance celebrating the achievements of some of the most prolific women in the film and television industry, guests included Gurinder Chadha, Rosalie Craig, Jenni Falconer, Deborah Frances-White, Daisy Haggard, Ophelia Lovibond, Katherine Ryan and Ruth Wilson.