'Slumdog' nets top prizes at British indies

Takes plaudits for best film, director, newcomer

LONDON -- Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" snared a trio of top awards Sunday evening at the British Independent Film Awards.

Danny Boyle walked off with the best director nod for his film, which also took the plaudits for best independent film.

The movie's star, Dev Patel, picked up the ceremony's most promising newcomer award for his role in Boyle's India-set romantic drama.

Elsewhere, Michael Fassbender's turn in "Hunger," Steve McQueen's portrait of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, earned best actor. Best actress went to Vera Farmiga for her role in Mark Herman's harrowing concentration camp drama "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas."

Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" smiled its way to a pair of acting nods, with Eddie Marsan and Alexis Zegerman taking home the best supporting actor and actress plaudits, respectively.

Martin McDonagh's "In Bruges," which shared the most nominations along with "Hunger," took home the evening's prize for best screenplay for McDonagh. McQueen grabbed the Douglas Hickox Award for best directorial debut ahead of other nominees James Watkins ("Eden Lake"), Rupert Wyatt ("The Escapist"), McDonagh ("In Bruges") and Eran Creevy "Shifty."

One of the most popular figures on the British indie scene, Shane Meadows, left empty handed despite best director nomination for "Somers Town." Also nominated for best director were McQueen, Herman and Garth Jennings, an emerging talent who shot to attention with "Son of Rambow."

The 11th annual awards, hosted by James Nesbitt, took place at the Old Billingsgate Market in London.

List of winners:

Best British Independent Film
"Slumdog Millionaire"

Best Director
Danny Boyle - "Slumdog Millionaire"

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director)
Steve McQueen - "Hunger"

Best Screenplay
Martin McDonagh - "In Bruges"

Best Actress
Vera Farmiga - "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas"

Best Actor
Michael Fassbender - "Hunger"

Best Supporting Actress
Alexis Zegerman - "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Best Supporting Actor
Eddie Marsan - "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Most Promising Newcomer
Dev Patel - "Slumdog Millionaire"

Best Achievement in Production
"The Escapist"
Raindance Award
Zebra Crossings

Best Technical Achievement
Cinematography - Sean Bobbitt - "Hunger"

Best Documentary
"Man on Wire"

Best British Short

Best Foreign Film
"Waltz with Bashir"

The Richard Harris Award (for Outstanding Contribution to British Film)
David Thewlis

The Special Jury Prize
Joe Dunton (cameras)