The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) recognises the best independent British films, obviously. So the winners, or even the nominees, barely reflect what we will see at the Oscars, which makes them all but irrelevent across the pond. However, it does give us Brits an indication of which films are reaping the most acclaim, and therefore which of our indies stand the most chance of being noticed in Hollywood.
This year it was Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila that won three awards including the top prize. The film, shot in the Phillipines, is the UK foreign language submission to the Academy Awards, so its recognition at such a high profile British indie awards is a great sign that it stands a chance of being at least noticed, maybe even nominated.
But let’s be realistic – the criteria for these awards are so far removed from the Oscars that comparing them is a waste of time. What they do offer is an important promotional springboard for those films that cannot compete at the Academy Awards – terrific independent productions that need attention but can’t afford the costs of theatrical exhibition.
The full list of winners of the British Independent Film Awards are below:
British Independent Film – Metro Manila
Director – Sean Ellis, Metro Manila
The Douglas Hickox Award (Debut Director) – Paul Wright, For Those in Peril
Screenplay – Steven Knight, Locke
Actress – Lindsay Duncan, Le Week-end
Actor – James McAvoy, Filth
Supporting Actress – Imogen Poots, The Look of Love
Supporting Actor – Ben Mendelsohn, Starred Up
Most Promising Newcomer – Chloe Pirrie, Shell
Achievement in Production – Metro Manila
Technical Achievement – Amy Hubbard, Casting, The Selfish Giant
Documentary – Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
British Short – Z1
International Independent Film – Blue Is The Warmest Colour
The Raindance Award – The Machine
The Richard Harris Award – Julie Walters
The Variety Award – Paul Greengrass
The Special Jury Prize – Sixteen Films & Friends