Ayrton Senna in Spain in 1989

‘Senna’, the movie tribute to the life of three-time Formula 1 world champion Ayrton Senna, has won the Pioneering and Innovation Award at the 2011 AUTOSPORT Awards in London.

The documentary film, which was released this year, has received rave reviews from critics during the year and brought the story of the iconic Brazilian driver, who was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, to new audiences.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner presented the award to writer and executive producer Manish Pandey, who worked with BAFTA-winning director Asif Kapadia and producer James Gay-Weeks on the film.

“Clearly he was a complicated man and the message we wanted to get across was that motor racing was a very human sport, and not just a bunch of cars going round a track,” said Pandey. “Senna brought that across.”

Senna was initially only released in a selected number of cinemas in the UK, but gained wider distribution by setting a new record for the highest-grossing opening weekend by a documentary film in British cinema history.

Since then it has won numerous accolades, including the audience award for a world cinema documentary at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival and the audience award for best international feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Just hours before the AUTOSPORT Awards, the film was named best documentary at the British Independent Film Awards, as well as receiving two further nominations. It has also been nominated for four gongs at the Cinema Eye Honours and one – for best cinema documentary – at the Grierson Awards.

source: © autosport.com