Ground-breaking drama about murder of Anthony Walker wins TV award

Ground-breaking drama about murder of Anthony Walker wins TV award

by Henry James (October 2021)

LIVERPOOL’S independent film and TV company LA Productions has beaten off international competition to win the Best TV Film category at the 2021 Venice TV Awards for its drama about the murder of Anthony Walker.

LA Productions won the coveted TV Film trophy for its ground-breaking drama – Anthony, which tells the story of Huyton teenager Anthony Walker, who was the victim of a racist murder in 2005. It focuses on how the talented young man’s life may have turned out.

Written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter, Jimmy McGovern, directed by Terry McDonough and produced by Colin McKeown and Donna Molloy, Anthony’s imagined life is told through reverse chronology as viewers witness him realise his dreams and enjoy the life he had a right to live before fate – and hate – took it all away.

The one-off drama received rave reviews from critics when it first aired on BBC One in July 2020. The Guardian awarded it five stars and The Times’ critic called it “powerful stuff. Unlike anything I’ve seen before.”

Colin McKeown, producer at LA Productions, said: “I am immensely proud of the team. It is an amazing achievement for a local production company in Liverpool to win a Venice TV Award.

“We knew when we created Anthony that we had made something really special. The team behind it, from writer Jimmy McGovern, to producers myself and Donna Molloy, to director Terry McDonough, are all proudly from Liverpool and the subject was extremely close to our hearts. We wanted to do the Walker family proud and do their story justice. It is a real accolade to receive such a prestigious international award and testament to the fantastic cast, scriptwriter and crew who helped produce this powerful piece of television, which brought to life such an important issue.”

This has been a year of award success for LA Productions. The company also received four nominations at this year’s BAFTA TV and Craft Awards – again for Anthony and for its thought-provoking drama anthology, Moving On – with the Best Supporting Actress Award going to Rakie Ayola, who played Anthony’s inspiring mother, Gee Walker.

Held annually, two weeks after the Venice Film Festival, the Venice TV Awards recognise the year´s television masterpieces and underline the continued worldwide appeal of TV. The event was launched as a tribute to and celebration of television, increasing national and international acclaim for both producers and broadcasters who create high-quality output.

Winners are selected by a team of international jurors, with entries coming from across the globe.

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