British Independent Film Awards: 'Saint Maud,' 'His House,' 'Rocks' Lead Nominations

Saint Maud - TIFF - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of TIFF

The postponed BIFAs — now taking place in February due to the pandemic — has seen the work of debut directors attract the most nominations.

Psychological horror Saint Maud is a nose ahead of a tight-knit pack of lead nominees for the 2020 British Independent Film Awards, unveiled Wednesday morning by Holliday Grainger and Micheal Ward.

The Film4-backed debut feature from Rose Glass, which released earlier this year in the U.K. but has been pushed back several times by A24 in U.S. due to the pandemic, landed 17 nominations, including best British independent film, best screenplay, best director and best actress for Morfydd Clark, who plays a devout palliative care nurse who becomes obsessed with saving the soul of her patient, played by Jennifer Ehle, who also picked up a supporting actress nomination.

Snapping at Saint Maud's chilling heels, another debut feature, Remi Weekes’ His House, weaving the real-life horrors faced by asylum seekers with supernatural terrors, amassed 16 nominations across the director, screenplay, debut and technical categories, alongside actress and best actor nominations for Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù.

One step below, Sarah Gavron and Anu Henrique’s critically-lauded Rocks, looking at life as a marginalised British teen, has 15 nominations, including double nominations for stars Bukky Bakray and Kosar Ali in best actress and supporting actress and most promising newcomer.

Further down the list, Nick Rowland's Irish crime drama Calm With Horses earned 10 nominations and Florian Zeller's The Father landed six, including the first-ever BIFA nod for acting icon Anthony Hopkins.

Meanwhile, Riz Ahmed has four BIFA nominations this year, shortlisted in the best actor, debut screenwriter, and best screenplay categories for Mogul Mowgli and also for The Long Goodbye, a short film which he wrote and starred in.

Traditionally held in early December, the BIFA awards have been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, with the winners' ceremony now set to be held in February. More details on the event will be revealed in January.

See the full list of nominees below.

Best British Independent Film

Calm With Horses
The Father
His House
Rocks
Saint Maud

Best Director

Sarah Gavron, Rocks [Associate Director Anu Henriques]
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
Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, 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, 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
Being A Human Person
The Reason I Jump
Rising Phoenix
White Riot

The Raindance Discovery Award

Justine
Looted
One Man And His Shoes
Perfect 10
Rose: A Love Story

Best British Short Film

Filipiñana
The Forgotten C
The Long Goodbye
Mandem
Sudden Light

Best International Independent Film

Babyteeth
Les Misérables
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
Notturno

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 & 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