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‘Wolf Hall’ Wins Judges’ Award at U.K.’s Royal Television Society

LONDON — Company Pictures and Playground Entertainment’s “Wolf Hall” was honored with the Judges’ Award at the craft and design awards of the Royal Television Society, which is an organization that represents senior executives in the U.K. television industry.

The costume drama, which chronicles the life of Thomas Cromwell and is based on the books by Hilary Mantel, was praised by the judges for its overall devotion to craft skills.

“Director Peter Kosminsky and director of photography Gavin Finny embraced the darkness of the times and with unerring confidence slowly unfurled this captivating political intrigue in a series of beautiful and bejewelled scenes reminiscent of Vermeer and Rembrandt,” the judges said.

“The attention to detail in every aspect of production was immaculate and the jury felt this drama was highly creative, distinctive and a demonstration of expert craft skills across all production disciplines.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dennis De Groot, who was described as “the go to production designer on many of TV’s most successful and revered sitcoms, entertainment shows and comedy dramas.” His credits include “Alan Partridge,” “French and Saunders,” “Black Books,” “Little Britain,” “That Mitchell and Webb Look,” “The IT Crowd” and “Bad Education.”

The judges said: “He constantly dreams original and fresh ideas for the most demanding of genres. His creative flair and unerring eye for detail have offered up the most fabulous and evocative habitats for our most talented comedy performers to shine on for over three decades.”

The Design and Craft Innovation award went to “Pets – Wild at Heart,” which was produced by John Downer Productions. It was praised for its “visual flair and technical wizardry.” The judges said, “This was an eye-popping series filled with innovative photography and scientific revelation.”

The director of fiction prize went to Julian Farino for “Marvellous” from Fifty Fathoms and Tiger Aspect Productions. “The director brought both fictional and real versions of the same character to our screens as if it was the most natural thing in the world,” the judges said, and added that it was “a bitter sweet, but ultimately heart-warming story where the characters and overarching human positivity were the stars of the show. The piece was grounded yet inspirational, a joy to judge.”

The best director for a non-fiction show was Colette Camden for “What Do Artists Do All Day?,” which was produced by Sue Webster at BBC Arts. It was “beautifully shot and constructed as well as a great example of wonderful storytelling,” the judges said.

For a full list of winners go here.

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