Rose Glass’s psychological horror film Saint Maud has picked up 17 nominations for the 2020 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs). Backed by the BFI Film Fund, Glass’s debut film, which was released in cinemas in October following a premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in 2019, is nominated for best British independent film, best director, best screenplay, best actress for Morfydd Clark, best supporting actress for Jennifer Ehle, as well as in a number of debut and technical categories.

Close at its heels with 16 nominations is Remi Weekes’ His House, another inventive modern spin on the horror genre, which competes in categories including best director, best screenplay, best actress for Wunmi Mosaku and best actor for Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù. Meanwhile, Sarah Gavron’s teen drama Rocks, also backed by the BFI,  tallies 15 nominations, with special recognition for its young stars, Bukky Bakray and Kosar Ali, who get 2 nominations each – for best actress and best supporting actress respectively alongside nods in the most promising newcomer category.

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Recognising the best new films and filmmakers across the British independent sector, the nominations this year are shared out between 27 UK films, with a notable showing for first-time filmmakers, female directors and people of colour both behind and in front of the camera.

Other high-scoring films are Nick Rowland’s crime drama Calm with Horses (10 nominations), Bassam Tariq’s Mogul Mowgli (7 nominations) and the Anthony Hopkins-Olivia Colman family drama The Father (6 nominations). Mogul Mowgli, which was released by the BFI this autumn, sees its star Riz Ahmed getting 3 separate nominations, for best actor, best screenplay and debut screenwriter. Ahmed also picked up a fourth nomination for the short film The Long Goodbye, which he wrote and starred in.

Another BFI distributed film, County Lines, which is currently on release, competes in 4 categories, including best debut director for Henry Blake, best supporting actor for Harris Dickinson, best supporting actress for Ashley Madekwe and most promising newcomer for Conrad Khan.

Other nominated films with backing from the BFI Film Fund, using National Lottery funds, include Limbo (4 nominations), Misbehaviour (3), Perfect 10 (3), The Reason I Jump (3), Ammonite (2) and Undergods (2), while with 1 nomination apiece are Herself, One Man and His Shoes, Looted (supported by the BFI with National Lottery funding through Film London’s first-feature Microwave Scheme) and the short film Sudden Light, which was supported by BFI NETWORK.

The winners will be announced in February 2021.

Best British independent film

Calm with Horses – Nick Rowland, Joe Murtagh, Daniel Emmerson
The Father – Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton, David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi, Philippe Carcassonne
His House – Remi Weekes, Martin Gentles, Edward King, Roy Lee, Aidan Elliott, Arnon Milchan
Rocks – Sarah Gavron, Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson, Faye Ward, Amee
Nah Ayub Allen
Saint Maud – Rose Glass, Oliver Kassman, Andrea Cornwell

Best director

Sarah Gavron – Rocks
Rose Glass – Saint Maud
Nick Rowland – Calm with Horses
Remi Weekes – His House
Florian Zeller – The Father

Best screenplay

Rose Glass – Saint Maud
Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson – Rocks
Bassam Tariq, Riz Ahmed – Mogul Mowgli
Remi Weekes – His House
Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton – The Father

Best actress

Bukky Bakray – Rocks
Morfydd Clark – Saint Maud
Clare Dunne – Herself
Wunmi Mosaku – His House
Andrea Riseborough – Luxor

Best actor

Riz Ahmed – Mogul Mowgli
Sope Dirisu – His House
Amir El-Masry – Limbo
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Cosmo Jarvis – Calm with Horses

Best supporting actress

Niamh Algar – Calm with Horses
Kosar Ali – Rocks
Jennifer Ehle – Saint Maud
Ashley Madekwe – County Lines
Fiona Shaw – Kindred

Best supporting actor

Harris Dickinson – County Lines
Barry Keoghan – Calm with Horses
Alyy Khan – Mogul Mowgli
Merab Ninidze – The Courier
D’Angelou Osei Kissiedu – Rocks

The Douglas Hickox Award (debut director)

Henry Blake – County Lines
Rose Glass – Saint Maud
Eva Riley – Perfect 10
Nick Rowland – Calm with Horses
Remi Weekes – His House

Breakthrough producer

Douglas Cox – Host (also produced by Emily Gotto and Samuel Zimmerman)
Daniel Emmerson – Calm with Horses
Irune Gurtubai – Limbo (also produced by Angus Lamont)
Oliver Kassman – Saint Maud (also produced by Andrea Cornwell)
Edward King, Martin Gentles – His House (also produced by Aidan Elliott, Roy Lee, Arnon Milchan)

Debut screenwriter

Riz Ahmed – Mogul Mowgli (also written by Bassam Tariq)
Rose Glass – Saint Maud
Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson – Rocks
Joe Murtagh – Calm with Horses
Remi Weekes – His House

Most promising newcomer

Niamh Algar – Calm with Horses
Kosar Ali – Rocks
Bukky Bakray – Rocks
Frankie Box – Perfect 10
Conrad Khan – County Lines

Best documentary

The Australian Dream – Daniel Gordon, Stan Grant, Sarah Thomson, Nick Batzias, Virginia Whitwell, John Battsek
Being a Human Person – Fred Scott, Mike Brett, Steve Jamison, Jo-Jo Ellison
The Reason I Jump – Jerry Rothwell, Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee, Al Morrow
Rising Phoenix – Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui, Greg Nugent, John Battsek, Tatyana McFadden
White Riot – Rubika Shah, Ed Gibbs

The Raindance Discovery Award

Justine – Jamie Patterson, Jeff Murphy, Jason Rush, Sarah Drew, Julius Beltrame
Looted – Rene Van Pannevis, Kefi Chadwick, Jennifer Eriksson, Jessie Mangum
One Man and His Shoes – Yemi Bamiro, Will Thorne
Perfect 10 – Eva Riley, Jacob Thomas, Bertrand Faivre, Valentina Brazzini
Rose: a Love Story – Jennifer Sheridan, April Kelley, Sara Huxley, Matt Stokoe, Rob Taylor, Sophie Rundle

Best British short film (supported by BFI NETWORK)

Filipiñana – Rafael Manuel, Naomi Pacifique
The Forgotten C – Molly Manning Walker, Jessi Gutch
The Long Goodbye – Aneil Karia, Riz Ahmed, Tom Gardner
Mandem – John Ogunmuyiwa, Emily Eve Rdee
Sudden Light – Sophie Littman, Tom Wood

Best international independent film

Babyteeth – Shannon Murphy, Rita Kalnejais, Alex White
Les Misérables – Ladj Ly, Giordano Gederlini, Alexis Manenti, Toufik Ayadi, Christophe Barral
Never Rarely Sometimes Always – Eliza Hittman, Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao, Frances Mcdormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey
Notturno – Gianfranco Rosi, Donatella Palermo, Paolo Del Brocco, Serge Lalou, Camille Laemlé, Orwa Nyrabia, Eva-Maria Weerts

Best casting 

Shaheen Baig – Calm with Horses
Kharmel Cochrane – Saint Maud
Carmen Cuba – His House
Dan Jackson – Limbo
Lucy Pardee – Rocks

Best cinematography 

Nick Cooke – Limbo
Ben Fordesman – Saint Maud
Hélène Louvart – Rocks
Annika Summerson – Mogul Mowgli
Jo Willems – His House

Best costume design

Michele Clapton – The Secret Garden
Ruka Johnson – Rocks
Tina Kalivas – Saint Maud
Michael O’Connor – Ammonite
Charlotte Walter – Misbehaviour

Best editing

Julia Bloch – His House
Yorgos Lamprinos – The Father
Maya Maffioli – Rocks
Brenna Rangott – Host
Mark Towns – Saint Maud

Best effects

Agnes Asplund, Martin Malmqvist – Undergods
Scott Macintyre, Bariş Kareli, Kristyan Mallett – Saint Maud
Pedro Sabrosa, Stefano Pepin – His House

Best make-up and hair design

Jacquetta Levon – Saint Maud
Sharon a Martin – His House
Ivana Primorac – Ammonite
Nora Robertson – Rocks
Jill Sweeney – Misbehaviour

Best music

Roque Baños – His House
Paul Corley – Mogul Mowgli
Nainita Desai – The Reason I Jump
Connie Farr, Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch – Rocks
Adam Janota Bzowski – Saint Maud

Best production design

Jacqueline Abrahams – His House
Cristina Casali – Misbehaviour
Peter Francis – The Father
Marketa Korinkova, Elo Soode – Undergods
Paulina Rzeszowska – Saint Maud

Best sound

Adrian Bell, Glenn Freemantle, Frank Kruse, Brendan Nicholson, Richard Pryke – His House
Paul Davies – Saint Maud
Paul Davies, Robert Farr, Nigel Albermaniche, Ian Morgan – Mogul Mowgli
Nick Ryan, Ben Baird, Sara De Oliveira Lima – The Reason I Jump
Calum Sample – Host