Two Directors UK members were presented with special awards at the Rakuten TV Empire Awards, during a ceremony on Sunday evening at Camden’s Roundhouse.
A United Kingdom director Amma Asante was presented with the Empire Inspiration Award by Idris Elba. After accepting the prize, which has previously been won by the likes of Guillermo Del Toro, Christopher Nolan and Luc Besson, Asante used her speech to call out the dire statistics relating to the representation of women and BAME directors in the industry: “We have been starving ourselves and our audiences of variety, and we have to remember that variety adds value – culturally and monetarily”. You can watch the speech below.
Meanwhile, Edgar Wright became the first ever recipient of the Empire Visionary Award. He spoke about starting his career in animation, and the pressure of making an original movie in the current marketplace. Wright was also nominated in the Best Director category for Baby Driver, and the film took home the top prizes for both Best Soundtrack and Best Production Design. You can watch the speech below.
Elsewhere, the Best Director award went to Rian Johnson for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which won five other awards — including Best Film. Best British Film was awarded to God’s Own Country, directed by Francis Lee. Steven Spielberg received the Empire Legend of our Lifetime award, and used his speech to praise the #MeToo movement: “This is more important than any of us can ever really realise”.
Congratulations to all of the weekend’s winners and nominees. You can find a full list of both on the Empire website.