Wednesday, December 21, 2005

FIFA World Player Awards

FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, announced its World Player of the Year awards at a gala ceremony in Zurich on Monday. The headline award of World Player of the Year went to the Brazilian Ronaldinho for the second successive year, while the women's award went to Germany's Birgit Brinz for the third successive year. The awards are determined by a poll of national coaches and captains, who assign three grades of vote to players named in a FIFA shortlist. The FIFA World Player Awards were introduced in 1991 and the women's awards in 2001. Also announced at the gala ceremony were the latest world team rankings, the Fair Play Award and the Interactive World Player Award, while former referee Anders Frisk was presented with FIFA's Presidential Award.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Time Magazine names 'Persons of the Year'

U.S. magazine Time has named its 'Persons of the Year' for 2005, with Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, and U2 frontman Bono, receiving the top honours. The three were selected for their work in tackling malaria in Africa, HIV and Aids, and poverty. These awards also named former U.S. Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton as 'Partners of the Year' in recognition of their joint work in the aftermaths of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in the U.S.A. Time magazine has been selecting a person of the year since 1927 with the aim of picking 'the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or worse.' This selection criteria, based on newsworthiness rather than just plain worthiness, has led to controversy in the past as figures such as Adolf Hitler (1938) and Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) were given the title. Last year the Time Person of the Year 'award' went to U.S. President George W. Bush. This idiosyncratic selection criteria does have the advantage of making the Time magazine honours unique, but it also creates great confusion as to the nature of the 'honour' that winners receive.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

British Independent Film Awards

The British Independent Film Awards were held last night at Hammersmith Palais, one of London's top venues for events and awards ceremonies. Hosted by Irish actor James Nesbitt and featuring presentations from industry figures such as Imelda Staunton, Vanessa Redgrave and Ken Loach, these BIFA's continue to grow in stature among the many awards for film. Established in 1998 with the aim of celebrating achievement in independently-funded British filmmaking, the awards also seek to recognise new talent and to promote British films and filmmaking to a wider public. These well-run awards have themselves been recognised within the awards industry: in 2003 they received two nominations at the Hollis Sponsorship Awards - for 'Best First Time Sponsorship' and 'Best Low Budget Sponsorship' - and won the award for Best Low-Budget Sponsorship. For the 2005 BIFAs, sponsors included Nokia, CineWorld Cinemas, Bloomberg and Variety.com. The BIFAs also have their own, custom designed, awards trophy. First commissioned in 1998 from sculptor Aaron McCartney, the design of the trophy was updated in 2001 by artist Lindsay Henderson of the studio Art for Glass. It features a flat glass award with an elegant curved design set on a curved base. Flat glass awards have emerged in recent years as the contemporary choice of trophy for a wide range of awards. For the record, the BIFAs awarded three honours to the film The Constant Gardener at Wednesday's ceremony. These included the Best Actor and Best Actress awards for Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz.