by Chris Connor
This year’s British Independent Film Awards (BIFA’s) have thrown up an intriguing mix of results that may well factor into the BAFTA nominations for next year’s ceremony.
After Love, Aleem Khan’s debut film was the night’s big winner with 6 awards including Best British Film, Best Director for Khan, best actress for The Thick Of It star Joanna Scanlan and Best Screenplay. After Love centres on a recently widowed woman coming to terms with a secret left behind by her late husband. Khan also walked away with the Douglas Hickox award for Best Debut Director.
Other big winners included the Stephen Graham one-shot restaurant thriller Boiling Point which won Best Supporting Actress for Vinnette Robinson, Best Cinematography as well as Best Sound and Best Casting marking it as a contender for BAFTAs. Boiling Point received the most nominations (11) along with Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, which walked away empty-handed. Ali & Ava won Best Actor for Adeel Akhtar.
The Souvenir Part II from Joanna Hogg won three awards from its nine nominations, for Best Costume Design, Editing and Production Design. It is perhaps surprising the film didn’t fare better outside of the technical categories with the level of acclaim being showered upon it.
Riz Ahmed received the Richard Harris award for outstanding contributions by an actor to British film. Ahmed was nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in Encounter
Breakthrough producer award went to Michella Antoniades for Sweetheart while Breakthrough Performance went to Nell Barlow for the same film and Best Debut Screenwriter went to Cathy Brady for Wildfire.
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché, from Paul Sing and Celeste Bell won Best Documentary and The Raindance Discovery award. The film focuses on the Punk icon and frontwoman of X-ray Spex.
The spread of the awards opens up some intriguing prospects for the BAFTAs especially with After Love benefitting the most, Boiling Point has also fared well in both acting and technical categories. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the evening is that there are a wealth of films to be considered for awards and we should not take this season for granted, perhaps indicating the BAFTA nominees may once again feel quite different to The Oscars.