Good Causes

BAFTAs for National Lottery-backed films Aftersun and An Irish Goodbye

Aftersun and An Irish Goodbye, two films made with the support of National Lottery funding, have won awards at The BAFTAs.

Edinburgh-born director Charlotte Wells won Best Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for her critically-acclaimed drama Aftersun. And the short film An Irish Goodbye took home the award for Best British Short at the star-studded ceremony in London.

Aftersun stars Paul Mescal (Ordinary People) as Calum, a single father who takes his daughter Sophie (Frankie Corio) to a Turkish resort. Recalling the holiday as an adult, Sophie realises her father was struggling with anxiety and depression as he did his best to give her a memorable vacation.

In her acceptance speech Charlotte said, “the film is a eulogy of sorts to my dad, but by definition he’s not here. But my mum is and she always has been. So this is for you – literally, because I over packed.”

Charlotte said the film’s difficult subject matter was a possible factor in its success. She added, “Its popularity might have something to do with the film’s expression of grief, or the messy, inherently impossible-to-grasp subject of mental illness. Or perhaps it’s to do with the film’s release not long after the years of Covid isolation; or perhaps it’s the product of long-term collaborations deeply rooted in trust and mutual artistic ambition. Whatever the reasons it has made for a moving, magical, entirely surreal, sometimes overwhelming, everywhere all at once six months.”

An Irish Goodbye, a black comedy set on a farm in Northern Ireland, was directed and written by Ross White and Tom Berkeley. It tells the story of two estranged brothers who come together after their mother’s death.

7 films backed and supported by The National Lottery received a total of 12 nominations at this year’s BAFTAs.

24th February 2023

‡Extracted from an article by Charlotte Wells on the BFI’s Sight and Sound website.

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 7,000 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £30 million for good causes every week.

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