British Independent Film Awards: 'The Favourite' Wins Record 10 Awards

2:30 PM 12/2/2018

by Alex Ritman and Georg Szalai

The Oscar-tipped dark comedy won best British independent film, plus best director for Yorgos Lanthimos and best actress for Olivia Colman.

the favourite Still 1 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Venice Film Festival

Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite lived up to its name at the 21st edition of the British Independent Film Awards on Sunday night.

The Oscar-tipped dark comedy went into the ceremony — which was held in London at Old Billingsgate and hosted by Russell Tovey — with 13 nominations, and had already won five in the craft categories, which were revealed last month. But it left with a further five nods, including best British independent film, best director for Lanthimos, best screenplay, best actress for Olivia Colman (maintaining her perfect record of winning a BIFA with every nomination) and best supporting actress for Rachel Weisz. The Favourite's 10 awards is a BIFA record. 

Elsewhere on the night, Bart Layton's American Animals won two prizes for best editing and debut screenwriter (for Layton), the same number as Lynn Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here, which picked up best sound and music honors.

Joe Cole’s portrayal of an English boxer in a Thai prison in A Prayer Before Dawn earned him the best actor award, while Alessandro Nivola was named best supporting actor for his performance in Disobedience opposite Weisz and Rachel McAdams. 

The Turner Prize-winning artist Richard Billingham received the Douglas Hickox Award for best debut director for Ray & Liz, while the film’s producer Jacqui Davies won the award for breakthrough producer.

Beast star Jessie Buckley was named most promising newcomer.

Evelyn, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel (who won an Oscar for his short The White Helmets), was tapped as best documentary. 

As previously announced, Judi Dench was presented with the 2018 Richard Harris award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film.

See the list of winners, below.

  • Best British Independent Film

    American Animals
    The Favourite -
    You Were Never Really Here

  • Best Director

    Andrew Haigh, Lean on Pete
    Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite - WINNER
    Bart Layton, American Animals
    Michael Pearce, Beast
    Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

  • Best Screenplay

    Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite - WINNER
    Sebastian Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Disobedience
    Bart Layton, American Animals
    Michael Pearce, Beast
    Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

  • Best Actress

    Gemma Arterton, The Escape
    Jessie Buckley, Beast
    Olivia Colman, The Favourite - WINNER
    Maxine Peake, Funny Cow
    Rachel Weisz, Disobedience

  • Best Actor

    Joe Cole, A Prayer Before Dawn - WINNER
    Steve Coogan, Stan & Ollie
    Rupert Everett, The Happy Prince
    Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here
    Charlie Plummer, Lean on Pete

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Nina Arianda, Stan & Ollie
    Rachel McAdams, Disobedience
    Emma Stone, The Favourite
    Rachel Weisz, The Favourite - WINNER
    Molly Wright, Apostasy

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Steve Buscemi, Lean on Pete
    Barry Keoghan, American Animals
    Alessandro Nivola, Disobedience - WINNER
    Evan Peters, American Animals
    Dominic West, Colette

  • Most Promising Newcomer

    Jessie Buckley, Beast - WINNER
    Michaela Coel, Been So Long
    Liv Hill, Jellyfish
    Marcus Rutherford, Obey
    Molly Wright, Apostasy

  • The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director)

    Richard Billingham, Ray & Liz - WINNER
    Daniel Kokotajlo, Apostasy
    Matt Palmer, Calibre
    Michael Pearce, Beast
    Leanne Welham, Pili

  • Debut Screenwriter

    Karen Gillan, The Party's Just Beginning
    Daniel Kokotajlo, Apostasy
    Bart Layton, American Animals - WINNER
    Matt Palmer, Calibre
    Michael Pearce, Beast

  • Breakthrough Producer

    Kristian Brodie, Beast
    Jacqui Davies, Ray & Liz - WINNER
    Anna Griffin, Calibre
    Marcie MacLellan, Apostasy
    Faye Ward, Stan & Ollie

  • The Discovery Award

    The Dig, Andy Tohill, Ryan Tohill, Stuart Drennan, Brian J. Falconer
    Irene's Ghost, Iain Cunningham, Rebecca Mark-Lawson, David Arthur, Ellie Land
    A Moment in the Reeds, Mikko Makela, James Watson
    Super November, Douglas King, Josie Long
    Voyageuse, May Miles Thomas - WINNER

  • Best Documentary

    Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story, Steve Sullivan
    Evelyn, Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara - WINNER
    Island, Steven Eastwood and Elhum Shakerifar
    Nae Pasaran, Felipe Bustos Sierra
    Under the Wire, Christopher Martin and Tom Brisley

  • Best British Short Film

    The Big Day, Dawn Shadforth, Kellie Smith, Michelle Stein - WINNER
    Bitter Sea, Fateme Ahmadi, Emma Parsons
    The Field, Sandhya Suri, Balthazar de Ganay, Thomas Bidegain
    Pommel, Paris Zarcilla, Sebastian Brown, Ivan Kelava
    To Know Him, Ted Evans, Kellie Smith, Jennifer Monks, Michelle Stein

  • Best International Independent Film

    CapernaumNadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Michelle Keserwani, Khaled Mouzanar,
    Michel Merkt
    Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, Janusz Glowacki, Ewa Puszczynska, Tanya Seghatchian
    The RiderChloe Zhao, Mollye Asher, Sacha Ben Harroche, Bert Hamelinck
    RomaAlfonso Cuaron, Nicolas Celis, Gabriela Rodriguez - WINNER
    ShopliftersHirokazu Koreeda