Out of 'Control' comes five BIFA nods


LONDON -- Anton Corbijn's "Control" was the big winner at Wednesday night's British Independent Film Awards, walking off with best movie, director and a pair of actor awards.

Corbijn's black-and-white film based on the life and suicide of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis scooped a total of five awards, including the evening's big two: best British independent film and best director.

Corbijn's biopic exorcised the threat of "Eastern Promises," "And When Did You Last See Your Father," "Hallam Foe" and "Notes on a Scandal" to secure the evening's best picture nod.

And Corbijn beat Anand Tucker ("And When Did You"), Sarah Gavron ("Brick Lane"), David Cronenberg ("Eastern Promises") and David Mackenzie ("Hallam Foe") to the punch as best director.

The Dutch director also secured the Douglas Hickox Award for best debut director for his film.

The movie's Sam Riley earned the most promising newcomer nod for his turn as the enigmatic singer-songwriter who committed suicide at age 23, just as his band began breaking into the big time.

Best supporting actor went to Tony Kebbell for his hilarious, swaggering interpretation of Joy Division band manager Rob Gretton. Kebbell was nominated for a best newcomer BIFA in 2004 for his role in "Dead Man's Shoes."

Viggo Mortensen's physical part in Cronenberg's "Promises," which includes an infamous naked knife fight in a sauna, secured best actor honors, while Judi Dench's barnstorming turn as a jealous, lonely teacher who resorts to blackmail and threats to keep a friendship in "Notes on a Scandal" walked off with this year's best actress nod.

Writer Patrick Marber secured the screenplay award for "Notes on a Scandal," giving the movie a second award on the night.

The winners for the 10th annual BIFAs also included a best documentary award for Julien Temple's "Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten," while U.K. indie art house distribution founders Andi Engel, Pamela Engel and Robert Beeson were honored with a special jury prize.

Dished out Wednesday at the Roundhouse in London for the first time in its 10-year history, BIFA organizers noted how the awards have grown "to celebrate the increasingly diverse range of talent out there."

Said BIFA co-directors Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, "This year's winners are no exception to this rule, with Anton Corbijn winning the Douglas Hickox Award and Judi Dench winning best actress."

This year's Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film went to Ray Winstone.

The winners were chosen by a jury made up of a mix of veteran industry executives and talent, including Hayley Atwell, Archie Panjabi, Kathy Burke, Tony Curran, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Macfadyen, Annie Griffin, Menhaj Huda, Neil Marshall, Peter Webber, Sandra Hebron, Mark Herbert, Brian Tufano, Will Clarke and Nitin Sawhney.

A complete list of winners follows:

Best British independent film

Best actress
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"

Best actor
Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises"

Special Jury Prize
Andi Engel, Pamela Engel and Robert Beeson (ArtificialEye)

Best supporting actor/actress
Toby Kebbell, "Control"

Most promising newcomer
Sam Riley, "Control"

Best director
Anton Corbijn, "Control"

Best screenplay
Patrick Marber, "Notes on a Scandal"

The Douglas Hickox Award (best debut director)
Anton Corbijn, "Control"

Best documentary
"Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten"

Best achievement in production
"Black Gold"

Best technical achievement
Mark Tildesley, production design, "Sunshine"

Best British short
"Dog Altogether"

Best foreign independent feature
"The Lives of Others"

The Raindance Award
"The Inheritance"

The Richard Harris Award
Ray Winstone

The Variety Award
Daniel Craig