'Metro Manila' Wins Big at British Independent Film Awards
LONDON – Sean Ellis and his Philippines-set Metro Manila were the big winners at this year's British Independent Film Awards.
The film picked up a trio of awards, including the best British independent film and best director, during the ceremony, the U.K.'s second most prestigious and well-attended awards after the BAFTA Film Awards. To secure the best film win, Metro Manila held sway over Philomena, The Selfish Giant and Le Week-end as well as Starred Up.
Ellis beat a best director field of Jon S Baird (Filth), Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant), Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin) and Mackenzie (Starred Up). Ellis' movie also picked up the trophy for best achievement in production at the awards held at Old Billingsgate hosted by BIFA-winning actor James Nesbitt.
Ben Mendelsohn, the Aussie actor known to many for his turn in The Dark Knight Rises, walked off with the evening's best supporting actor honor at this year's British Independent Film Awards.
He was honored for his work in David Mackenzie's visceral and violent prison drama Starred Up. Mendelsohn's win was the only award of the night for Mackenzie's movie despite the film leading the pack going in with eight nominations including best director and the event's biggest award, the best British independent film.
In the best actor category, James McAvoy won for his turn in Filth beating out competition from Tom Hardy for Locke, Jack O’Connell (Starred Up), Jim Broadbent for Le Week-end and Steve Coogan for Philomena.
There would be no trip to the stage to pick up a BIFA for Judi Dench in the best actress category, nominated for her role in Philomena.
Instead, Lindsay Duncan won for Le Week-end beating Dench, Scarlett Johansson for Under The Skin, Felicity Jones for The Invisible Woman and Saoirse Ronan for How I Live Now.
The evening's best supporting actress award went to Imogen Poots for The Look of Love, ahead of a field boasting Siobhan Finneran (The Selfish Giant), Shirley Henderson (Filth), Kristin Scott Thomas (The Invisible Woman) and Mia Wasikowska (The Double).
The awards, sponsored by French champagne house Moet et Chandon, also saw U.S. hopes dashed as Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine and Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha missed out on the day's best international independent film category with Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue Is The Warmest Color emerging victorious in a field also including Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty and Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour.
The winners for the 16tthannual Moet British Independent Film Awards took home the brand new iconic award designed by Fredrikson Stallard and created by Swarovski.
The awards' co-directors Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson described the independent jury's task as "an extremely tough job," saying they have been asked "to choose from an impressive pool of talent and creativity in a year where the diversity of storytelling is more extreme than ever."
The pair described the independent film industry in the U.K. as one currently "producing a new generation of fearless artists both behind and in front of the camera who represent that richness of our diverse British society. With so many of the films exploring themes about being less judgmental and more forgiving, perhaps reflecting a movement within British independent filmmaking that brings much hope for the future."
Julie Walters was awarded the coveted Richard Harris award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film.The Special Jury prize went to Sixteen Films & friends (AKA Team Ken Loach), in recognition of their contribution bringing the work of U.K. director Loach to life.
Find the full list of winners below:
BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM
Sponsored by Moet & Chandon
Sponsored by AllCity & Intermission
Sean Ellis– Metro Manila
THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR]
Sponsored by 3 Mills Studios
Paul Wright– For Those in Peril
Steven Knight– Locke
Sponsored by M.A.C Cosmetics
Lindsay Duncan– Le Week-end
Sponsored by BBC Films
James McAvoy– Filth
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Imogen Poots– The Look Of Love
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Sponsored by Sanderson & St Martins Lane
Ben Mendelsohn– Starred Up
MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
Sponsored by Studiocanal
Chloe Pirrie– Shell
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION
Sponsored by Company3
BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Sponsored by LightBrigade Media
Amy Hubbard – Casting – The Selfish Giant
Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer
BEST BRITISH SHORT
BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM
Blue is the Warmest Color
THE RAINDANCE AWARD
Sponsored by Wentworth Media and Arts
Everyone’s Going to Die
THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD(for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)
THE VARIETY AWARD
THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Sixteen Films & Friends (AKA team Ken Loach)