Bafta nominee Paul Laverty is looking forward to tonight’s awards but he still hopes to leave the ceremony empty handed.
The former human rights lawyer’s latest film with longtime collaborator Ken Loach, Sorry We Missed You, is nominated for Outstanding British Film at tonight’s star-studded ceremony.
The social drama faces stiff opposition from blockbusters 1917 and Rocketman, but Edinburgh-based Paul hopes a documentary about a young woman trying to live a normal life in war-torn Syria takes home the prize.
“It’s not false modesty to say I really hope For Sama wins, because it’s a really important film and I hope everyone has a chance to see it,” Paul said.
“It almost transcends all industry talk and prize giving. This is the sheer power of testimony and you see the unbelievable courage of Syrian civilians.
“I hope to cross paths with the makers to congratulate them on the film.”
Sorry We Missed You tackles issues of the working poor and delivery drivers being put under incredible stress by large companies to deliver an unrealistic number of packages per day.
Paul says being nominated at ceremonies like the Baftas puts a spotlight on the issues tackled in the movie.
“The way the whole thing works, it draws attention to the film,” he continued.
“We’ve been fortunate in how it’s been received and the debate that goes with it is heartening.
“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve heard it’s been doing fantastically in Japan, Holland and Italy, and it’s already had a good run in Spain and France. It opens in the US next month.”
When Paul and Ken’s previous film, I, Daniel Blake, won Outstanding British Film at the Baftas in 2017, Loach used his acceptance speech as a platform to raise some of the issues tackled in the film. Paul says they are likely to do the same this time, win or lose.
“When we’re on the red carpet, we’ll certainly talk about the people we’ve met on this story.
“One person is the widower of a man called Don Lane who, like the character in the film, was deemed to be self-employed even though he was controlled. He was charged £150 if he missed a shift and couldn’t get a replacement driver, so he missed appointments for his diabetes and became more and more ill. He died last year – he should still be here.
“At the Baftas tonight, I’ll be raising a glass to Don and his lovely partner, Ruth, who is campaigning for justice.”
Paul added: “I don’t want to be po-faced, because there is a sense of celebration just to get a film made, it’s always a big gamble. So when you have an occasion like this, it’s really joyful.
Another Scot up for a Bafta tonight is Dunkirk and Mary Queen Of Scots actor Jack Lowden, who is in the Rising Star category, while Irish star Jessie Buckley is nominated for the Leading Actress award for her role as a Glaswegian singer in country music film, Wild Rose.
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