The MIPAA Chairman’s Award is presented annually to an individual or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to communication in, or of, the motor industry. Previous winners have included Jeremy Clarkson, Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, Ken Gibson, Chris Evans and even James Bond [See below for full list]
This year, the MIPAA Executive Committee felt the deserving recipient was a film that captured the imagination of critics and the public alike, and was a remarkable piece of big-screen storytelling.
Rush, which depicts the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda throughout the dramatic 1976 Formula 1 season, stood out as an endeavour that not only retold one of the most compelling stories in motorsport, but also engaged a whole new audience while doing so.
Upon receiving the award, the film’s producer Andrew Eaton said: “It is a fantastic honour to accept the MIPAA Chairman’s Award on behalf of Rush. It was a great film to make and the most fun film I’ve ever worked on. I spoke to Ron Howard in the morning, as he was filming in the Canary Islands and unable to attend, and he echoed how honoured he felt for Rush to be recognised in this way.”
The presentation included a framed word cloud based on the top critics’ reviews of Rush, including the following:
“The film is outrageously enjoyable.” – Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
“It rarely deviates from formula, but Rush wins big, delivering the most exciting F1 footage created for film. Like Hunt, it is sexy, funny, full of thrills. Like Lauda, it is intelligent, a bit blunt, but ultimately touching. – Ian Freer, Empire Magazine
“Rush is one of the fastest, most enjoyable rides you will take this year.” – Henry Barnes, The Guardian
“Rush breaks the mould; its racing scenes are thrilling, and the personal dynamics in the pits and away from the track genuinely intriguing.” – David Gritten, Daily Telegraph
“Aided by two punchy lead turns, an Oscar-worthy script and stunning in-car footage, Howard’s race film delivers top-gear drama. A piston- and heart-pumping triumph.” – James Mottram, Total Film
As Andrew Charman wrote for the Guild of Motoring Writers’ website, “The environments are right. The cars are right, and real, due to Howard’s laudable decision to gather together and film historic racing cars instead of entrusting everything to that cinema cop-out CGI. The sound is right, an awesome mix of Hans Zimmer’s stirring score and F1 engines. And crucially, Hunt and Lauda are right.” He concluded, “Yes, Rush is one of the best racing films ever made but it is also a great film.”
Unsurprisingly, the MIPAA Chairman’s Award looks like it might be the first of many awards heading in Rush’s direction. The film has now received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Drama’, and Daniel Brühl, who played the role of Lauda, has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Previous MIPAA Chairman’s Award winners:
The MIPAA Chairman’s Award is presented annually at the discretion of the Association’s Board of Directors for an outstanding contribution to public relations. Previous winners include:
- James Bond (2012) for his efforts in promoting motoring and cars on film over 50 years
- Special award to Car Magazine (2012) acknowledging its 50th anniversary
- Boris Johnson (2011), Mayor of London for raising the profile of the debate around electric vehicles.
- Robert Llewelyn (2010), actor, comedian, writer and electric vehicle advocate for his enthusiasm via social media for electric vehicles.
- Chris Evans (2009), in recognition for his passion and love of motoring on BBC Radio 2 – as well as raising over £1 million for Children in Need in 2008 and 2009.
- Ken Gibson (2008), motoring editor, The Sun, for his ability to make motor industry news relevant and interesting for millions of readers.
- Lord March (2007) in acknowledgement of the success of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival events which attract hundreds of thousands of motoring enthusiasts.
- Johnnie Walker (2006), Radio presenter in recognition of his support for motorists, motorcyclists and truckers during his career, most recently on BBC Radio 2.
- Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman (2005) for popularising motorcycling through their Long Way Round global touring challenge
- Jeremy Clarkson (2004) for his unique journalistic style presenting motoring on BBC television’s Top Gear, the magazine of the same name and the Sunday Times