'Slumdog' wins big at British indie awards


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

Boyle walked off with the best director nod for his film, which also took 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 with "Hunger," took home the evening's prize for best screenplay for McDonagh. McQueen grabbed the Douglas Hickox Award for best directorial debut.

One of the most popular figures on the British indie scene, Shane Meadows, left empty-handed despite a 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. (partialdiff)