BFI Film Fund-backed titles swept the board at the 15th Moët British Independent Film Awards last night. Hosted by actor James Nesbitt at Old Billingsgate, London, the BIFAs crowned Broken, Rufus Norris’s coming-of-age drama (due for release in early 2013), as Best British Independent Film.
The evening’s biggest winner, with four awards, was Berberian Sound Studio, Peter Strickland’s atmospheric tribute to Italian horror cinema, which won Strickland the trophy for Best Director and Toby Jones the award for Best Actor, also picking up Best Achievement in Production and Best Technical Achievement.
Best Actress went to Andrea Riseborough for her performance as a Republican activist in Shadow Dancer, while Alice Lowe, Steve Oram and Amy Jump, the writers of Ben Wheatley’s caravan-holiday-gone-wrong black comedy Sightseers, won Best Screenplay.
The Imposter, supported in distribution by the BFI’s P&A Fund, was awarded both Best British Documentary and The Douglas Hickox Award (Directorial Debut) for Bart Layton, equalling the two-award tally of Broken, which won Best Supporting Actor for Rory Kinnear alongside its Best British Independent Film Award.
Other winners included Olivia Colman as Best Supporting Actress for Hyde Park on Hudson, The Hunt for Best International Independent Film, and James Floyd as Most Promising Newcomer for his role in My Brother the Devil.
The former director of the BFI London Film Festival, Sandra Hebron, was awarded the Special Jury Prize, with Sir Michael Gambon taking home the prestigious Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film. The Variety Award, recognising an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK, went to Jude Law.
“Once again last night’s Moet British Independent Film Awards have done a brilliant job in highlighting, promoting and celebrating the diversity and excellence in UK independent filmmaking,” comments Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the BFI. “Huge congratulations to all the winners in a strong and varied selection that really demonstrates the range and breadth of British storytelling. I’m especially delighted that my former colleague Sandra Hebron received the Special Jury Prize, which she so richly deserves for her tireless work in championing UK filmmakers both during her time as director of the BFI London Film Festival and throughout her career.”
Nevill continues: “It’s really pleasing to note that of last night’s winners, eight awards were for films backed through the BFI Film Fund and a further two were for a film supported in distribution through our P&A Fund to reach new audiences right across the country. This awards recognition really helps to underline the continued importance of Lottery support and public investment in backing creative risk-taking and bold originality in UK filmmaking. As the awards season now gets underway we hope there will be further recognition for UK films on the international stage in the coming months.”