Belper's Ritzy Movie Awards

Pictures from Derbyshire's film awards held at The Ritz Cinema, Belper

Following the BAFTA film awards at London’s Royal Opera House and the Oscar ceremony at the Kodak Theatre, Hollywood, all movie industry eyes were focused on 76 King Street, Belper, for Derbyshire’s own movie awards, the Ritzys.

Now in its third year, the Ritzys is the Belper Ritz’s light-hearted antidote to the major award ceremonies that the Ritzys creator, Andy Minion, saw as ‘self-important’. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to raise money for charity – this year’s beneficiary being a Multiple Sclerosis charity – and with sponsorship from local solicitors and investment advisors Shacklocks, this year’s Ritzys were a great success, not least in that one of the winners actually turned up to receive an award. ‘A 100 per cent improvement on last year’s Ritzys,’ quipped Andy.

Film, TV and theatre composer Paul Englishby accepted an award for his score to An Education, which also won Best British film and Best Filmmaker (Lone Scherfig). Paul raised his Ritzy high in jubilation, declared the winning feeling as ‘fantastic’ and applauded the Ritz for its discerning taste in films.

Refreshingly, it’s the Ritz cinemagoers who decide the award winners from a list of nominations drawn up by film lecturer Andy and the cinema’s co-proprietor Amanda Mundin. ‘We have a lot of fun with the Ritzys,’ says Amanda, ‘but we also value celebrating the many quality films we bring to the Ritz, many of which don’t get nominated elsewhere.’ Before the awards, entertainment was provided by Gypsy Jazz and folk duo No Fixed Abode with John Hodson playing suitable piano fanfares during the ceremony. The bubbly flowed, some lovely frocks were on show, and all the glitz at the Ritz was captured by a horde of paparazzi (well, Ashley Franklin turned up).

Best Film went to Avatar, Michael Sheen won Best Actor for his portrayal of Brian Clough in The Damned United and, in winning Best Actress for her starring role in Coco Before Chanel, Audrey Tautou sent a message saying ‘this is very special’, to which she added: ‘I wish my local cinema was as cool as the Ritz.’

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