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BIFA shares the love

UK film has had a good year with plenty of independent features playing well at home and elsewhere, on the festival circuit and wider release. This morning NZ time it handed out its gongs.

Pride

BIFA 2014 Best Film winner Pride

Only two titles took more than one win. Frank won the Screenplay and Technical Achievement awards; Pride (currently on screens here) took both Supporting Acting awards before collecting the Best Film gong.

A record 250+ titles were submitted. ’71 took nine nominations to lead the field, ahead of Pride (7) and a trio of titles with five nominations each: Catch Me Daddy, Frank and Mr Turner. For those looking for co-production partners, Film 4 was the most-nominated production company with 27 nods.

Renowned as a relaxed affair, some viewers of the live stream might have been surprised by the screenwriting gong winner starting his acceptance speech “God, I’m so drunk” and the liberal use of “fuck” in acceptance speeches.

As Nick Cave was spending the weekend playing to the converted in Auckland 20,000 Days on Earth directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard were taking the Best Debut Director gong in London. The Documentary gong proper went to a film more in tune with more populist British interests, football, even if the subject matter of Next Goal Wins was American Samoa, the lowest team in the FIFA rankings and one which has scored twice in 17 years.

The evening honoured departing Film 4 head Tessa Ross, whose resume now includes a bunch of award winners including Oscar winners 12 Years A Slave, Slumdog Millionaire, The Last King of Scotland and also The Lovely Bones.

Closing out the ceremony host Simon Bird had a few words of advice for nominees whose journeys had ended short of a trip to the stage: “Make better films.”

The 2014 British Independent Film Awards winners were:

Best British Independent Film
’71
Calvary
Mr Turner

*** Pride
The Imitation Game

Best Director
John Michael McDonagh, Calvary
Lenny Abrahamson, Frank
Matthew Warchus, Pride
Mike Leigh, Mr Turner
*** Yann Demange, ’71

The Douglas Hickox Award
for Best Debut Director
Daniel Wolfe, Matthew Wolfe, Catch Me Daddy
Hong Khaou, Lilting
*** Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard, 20,000 Days on Earth
Morgan Matthews, X+Y
Yann Demange, ’71

Best Screenplay
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Gregory Burke, ’71
John Michael McDonagh, Calvary
*** Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan, Frank
Stephen Beresford, Pride

Best Actress
Alicia Vikander, Testament of Youth
Cheng Pei Pei, Lilting
*** Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, Catch Me Daddy

Best Actor
Asa Butterfield, X+Y
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
*** Brendan Gleeson, Calvary
Jack O’Connell, ’71
Timothy Spall, Mr Turner

Best Supporting Actress
Dorothy Atkinson, Mr Turner
*** Imelda Staunton, Pride
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Frank
Sally Hawkins, X+Y
Sienna Guillory, The Goob

Best Supporting Actor
*** Andrew Scott, Pride
Ben Schnetzer, Pride
Michael Fassbender, Frank
Rafe Spall, X+Y
Sean Harris, ‘71

Most Promising Newcomer
Ben Schnetzer, Pride
Cara Delevingne, The Face of An Angel
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle
Liam Walpole, The Goob
*** Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, Catch Me Daddy

Best Achievement in Production
’71
20,000 Days on Earth
Catch Me Daddy
Lilting

*** The Goob

Best Technical Achievement
Chris Wyatt – Editing, ’71
Dick Pope – Cinematography, Mr Turner
Robbie Ryan – Cinematography, Catch Me Daddy
*** Stephen Rennicks – Music, Frank
Tat Radcliffe – Cinematography, ’71

Best Documentary
20,000 Days on Earth
*** Next Goal Wins
Night Will Fall
The Possibilities Are Endless
Virunga

Best British Short
Crocodile
Emotional Fusebox
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Slap

*** The Kármán Line

Best International Independent Film
Blue Ruin
*** Boyhood
Fruitvale Station
Ida
The Babadook

The Raindance Award
Flim: The Movie…
Gregor

*** Luna
Keeping Rosy
The Beat Beneath My Feet

The Richard Harris Award
for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film
Emma Thompson

The Variety Award
Benedict Cumberbatch

The Special Jury Prize
John Boorman

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