The PGGB Film Production Team of the Year Award sponsored by Panalux - presented to the production team behind the action-filled Viking epic The Northman (New Regency/Focus Features). PGGB members Mark Huffam (Producer), Peter Eardley (Financial Controller), Naomi Liston (Supervising Location Manager) Darren Chesney (Production Manager), Nikki Chamberlain (UK Production Accountant), Tom Boardman (Payroll Accountant), Barry McGoniglet (Assistant Accountant) and Jakub Malar (Assistant Accountant) collect the award for their exceptional work on the action movie set in 10th Century Iceland.
When the UK entered lockdown just days before The Northman’s principal photography was due to start in March 2020, director Robert Eggers and crew quarantined in Belfast rethinking production practises and schedules, devising innovative solutions to Covid-safety challenges, and navigating arrangements with a multi-national cast that included Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk and Willem Dafoe. With overseas locations off the table due to travel restrictions, the team set out to recreate the Scandinavian look and feel of the film in Northern Ireland, rethinking locations and set building and prepping everything from costumes and props to horse-training and armory-safety during shutdown. The three month shoot finally began in August 2020 at Belfast Harbour Studios and on location at Torr Head (County Antrim) where a full Viking village was built. Other locations included Five Finger Strand (County Donegal) and The Gleniff Horseshoe (County Sligo). The Northman will be released in the UK on 15 April UK and in the US on 22 April 22 via Universal Pictures UK.
Jury Chair, Producer & Executive Producer Callum McDougal (1917, Spectre) says: “The Northman was the first major feature to shoot in Northern Ireland during COVID-19. It was an absolute trailblazer, sending a sign across the world that we could continue to work safely in this country and deliver film successfully. The team really went above and beyond, showing an exceptional degree of resilience and ingenuity whilst remaining true to the original concept of the movie.”
A Special Mention in this category goes to the production team behind award-winning independent feature Rocks (Fable Pictures/BFI/Film4) for its innovative work championing emerging talent in front of and behind the camera and building a predominantly female team. PGGB members Claire Campbell (Head of Production, Fable Pictures), Nicola Morrow (Line Producer), Amaka Ugwunkwo (Production Manager), Amie Tridgell (Location Manager - additional photography) and Luke Randolph (Completion Bond representative) receive the award.