Variety, the Newport Beach Film Festival and Visit Newport Beach are have teamed up for the sixth consecutive year to toast British talent. Held days before the BAFTA Awards in London, the U.K. Honours fetes established and rising talent, while 10 Brits to Watch salutes creatives with exciting projects in the past year as well as in the months ahead.
Honoree and “1917” producer Pippa Harris, who founded Neal Street Productions with director Sam Mendes, accepted the Best U.K. Picture prize with actors George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman.
The veteran film and TV producer revealed she has known Mendes for 40 years, and reminded the room of the film’s role in celebrating peace.
“Sam’s grandfather taught (his family) of the horrors of trench warfare, and the camaraderie of the army and he talked about the arbitrary nature of conflict and the fact that he had survived and so many others had died,” she said.
“I know Sam would want to dedicate this to his grandfather Alfred, but also to those who fought in the last century to protect the freedoms we all hold dear. At this time when there is conflict and tension around the world, we should not take that peace for granted.”
During the ceremony, Variety honored its annual group of 10 Brits to Watch, which this year includes Honor Swinton Byrne (“The Souvenir”), Dean-Charles Chapman (“1917”), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (“Angels in America”), Jodie Turner-Smith (“Queen & Slim”), Zawe Ashton (“Velvet Buzzsaw”), Sheila Atim (“Girl From the North Country”), Jessica Henwick (“Underwater”), Chance Perdomo (“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”), Laura Solon (“Back to Life”) and rapper Stormzy.
Other Breakthrough Artists include Sophie Cookson (“Greed,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service”), Erin Doherty (“The Crown,” “Les Miserables”), Ncuti Gatwa (“Sex Education”), George MacKay (“1917,” “Captain Fantastic”), and Bel Powley (“The Morning Show,” “White Boy Rick”).
Artists of Distinction included Asa Butterfield (“Sex Education”), Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”), Alice Eve (“Bombshell”) and Mbatha-Raw (“The Morning Show," Motherless Brooklyn.
Finally, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” star Richard E. Grant and “Lord of the Rings” actor Sir Ian Holm won the Icon award.
More on our 2020 '10 Brits to Watch:'
Honor Swinton Byrne