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Chiwetel Ejiofor/Michael Winterbottom To Receive Icon Awards At Raindance Film Festival 2024



Acclaimed British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and regarded British director Michael Winterbottom will receive this year’s Raindance Icon Awards, presented during the festival’s 32nd edition (19-28 June).

Chiwetel Ejiofor will be presented with his award at Raindance’s Opening Gala UK Premiere of Tilman Singer’s CUCKOO at Curzon Mayfair on 19 June. Michael Winterbottom with be presented with his award during Raindance’s Jury Awards ceremony at Wonderville on 27 June.

“As part of Raindance’s midsummer celebrations, it’s a privilege for us to bask in the radiance that surrounds this year’s Raindance Icon Award recipients,” says Raindance founder Elliot Grove. “Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Winterbottom have made important and outstanding contributions to independent cinema, both in front of and behind the camera. We are proud to recognise and honour their achievements with this award.”


BAFTA Award winning and Academy Award nominated actor, writer and director, Chiwetel Ejiofor is known for his work in the likes of 12 YEARS A SLAVE, KINKY BOOTS, DIRTY PRETTY THINGS, CHILDREN OF MEN and Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE franchise. The 2024 Sundance premiere of ROB PEACE marked his second feature as a director, following his critically acclaimed directorial debut, THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND, in 2019. His upcoming projects include the Stephen King adaption, THE LIFE OF CHUCK, Scarlett Johansson’s ELEANOR THE GREAT in which he stars alongside June Squibb, Sony’s VENOM 3 and the latest instalment of the Bridget Jones franchise: MAD ABOUT THE BOY.

Chiwetel Ejiofor says: “I continue to admire the Raindance Film Festival’s intensely independent spirit, and it’s wonderful that Raindance focuses on nurturing, inspiring, and educating up-and-coming talent. I am delighted to be a recipient of the festival’s Icon Award.”


Michael Winterbottom has directed three films that have been nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, seven films that have been nominated for the Golden Bear at Berlin and one that was nominated for the Golden Lion at Venice. Eighteen of his films have had their North American Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival or the Sundance Film Festival.

Michael Winterbottom won the Francois Chalais Award at the Cannes Film Festival for A MIGHTY HEART starring Angelina Jolie about the murder by extremists of Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl. He was nominated for the Palme d’Or for WELCOME TO SARAJEVO about a group of journalists experiencing the heinous effects of political violence. IN THIS WORLD won the Golden Bear at Berlin and a BAFTA for Best Film in a Foreign Language. THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO won a Silver Bear at Berlin for Best Directing and a BIFA for Best Documentary film. WONDERLAND won a BIFA for Best Film. GENOVA won a Silver Shell for Best Directing at San Sebastian.

Michael Winterbottom has been Humanitas Visiting Professor in Film and Television at Oxford University. He is an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford and is an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Bristol University.

Michael Winterbottom says: “Raindance has done a huge amount to support independent filmmaking in this country and around the world for more than 30 years so it is a real honour to receive the festival’s Icon Award.”

The Raindance Icon Award is the festival’s signature award, honouring and celebrating the icons of independent cinema: those who make an authentic and iconic impression via the medium of film. Previous Raindance Icon Award recipients: David Yates, Vanessa Redgrave, Jonathan Pryce, Gemma Arterton, Sir Michael Caine, Sally Hawkins, Jude Law, Olivia Colman, Terry Gilliam, Guy Richie, Ken Loach.

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