Jewish writer, producer of ‘King’s Speech’ take awards


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — “The King’s Speech” won seven of Britain’s top film awards, including for its Jewish writer and for its Jewish producer.

David Seidler, whose paternal grandparents died in the Holocaust, picked up what is known as a gong for the best original screenplay while Emile Sherman, a Sydney-based producer who collaborated with Iain Canning in London, jointly won the award for best film at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts awards in London on Sunday night.

Sherman, whose parents are well-known philanthropists in the Australian Jewish community, said he had no problem with the film’s history despite some criticism that it ignored King George VI’s role in preventing Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.

“Smear campaigns are part and parcel of this world,” Sherman told the Australian Jewish News. “I’m Jewish, the writer (David Seidler) is Jewish … and I feel really comfortable with what I know about King George VI. We’re telling a story; the film isn’t an analysis of his political leanings.”

Among other winners at the BAFTAs were Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman, who won a best actress award for her role in “Black Swan,” and Aaron Sorkin, who won the award for best adapted screenplay for “The Social Network.”

"The King’s Speech" garnered 12 Academy Awards nominations; the winners will be revealed Feb. 27 in Los Angeles.

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