Film - British Independent Film Awards

The Personal History of David Copperfield and For Sama were the big winners as the BIFAs for 2019 were announced at the weekend. Here's the full list...

It was a documentary, For Sama, that was named Best British Independent Film 2019 at the 22nd BIFA ceremony, the first documentary to win that award. The film, an intimate and scarring portrait of a young mother’s experience of the Syrian civil war also garnered three other awards - for Best Director, Best Documentary and Best Editing.

But it was beaten to the largest haul of the Awards by The Personal History of David Copperfield which took home five, including Best Supporting Actor for Hugh Laurie, who plays Mr Dick in Armando Iannucci’s adaptation of the Dickens classic, and a Best Screenplay trophy for Armando Iannucci himself, along with Simon Blackwell. It also picked up awards for Best Casting , Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

Best Actor this year went to Josh O'Conner for his role in Only You, his second BIFA, having won in 2017 for God's Own Country, and the film's director Harry Wootliff was named Best Debut Director. Another well known name, Renee Zellweger was given the Best Actress award for her role in the biopic Judy, which also got the award for Best Make Up & Hair Design.

Sam Adewunmi was named Most Promising Newcomer for his first significant performance in a British feature film, Shola Amoo’s The Last Tree. In the film he plays Femi, a British boy of Nigerian heritage struggling to adjust to a new life in London. His co-star Ruthxjiah Bellenea received the award for Best Supporting Actress.

Writer Emma Jane Unsworth won the award for Debut Screenwriter for her big-screen adaptation of her second novel, Animals, which stars Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat as a pair of hedonistic, hard-partying best friends whose lives begin to change as they enter their 30s.

Other breakthrough award winners included producers Kate Byers and Linn Waite who won for their film Bait. Written and directed by Cornish filmmaker Mark Jenkin, Bait follows Martin, a fisherman without a boat struggling to survive in a changing economy. The film is set in the modern-day but was shot on hand-processed, black and white film stock on a hand-cranked ’80s Bolex camera, with all sound added in post-production.

The Raindance Discovery Award went to Children of the Snow Land. This remarkable documentary tells the stories of children born in the high Himalayas of Nepal who spend over 10 years in schools away from their parents before making the long and dangerous trek back home.

The award for Best British Short Film supported by BFI NETWORK, was presented to Dekel Berenson’s Anna, a film about a middle-aged single mother who lives in a small industrial town in war-torn Eastern Ukraine. Despite not having been out for years, she is lured by a radio advertisement to attend a party of foreign men who are touring the country, searching for love.

The only category of the night open to non-UK films, Best International Independent Film sponsored by Champagne Taittinger, was won by Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite. The legendary South Korean filmmaker’s latest film is a dark comedy about an unemployed, unmotivated patriarch and his equally unambitious family who catch a lucky break when they become entangled with a wealthy household.

The Special Jury Prize was presented to Amanda Nevill CBE. Nevill is the outgoing CEO of the British Film Institute (BFI) and has been praised for transforming the organisation and the wider film industry with initiatives designed to support a vibrant national film culture across all sectors, from production to distribution. The jury praised her openness, deep personal involvement in her work and determination to involve filmmakers in all aspects of the BFI’s strategies and activities during her tenure.

The final award of the evening, The Richard Harris Award For Outstanding Contribution by An Actor To British Film , went to Kristen Scott Thomas marking "a career of great dexterity, showing impeccable taste in filmmakers, whether it’s convincing us as the foul-mouthed criminal matriarch in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, as her BIFA-nominated aunt to John Lennon in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Nowhere Boy or Winston Churchill’s better half in Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour."

Here's the full list of this year's nominations with the ** Winner ** in each category highlighted.
Best British Independent Film

** Winner ** For Sama
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Souvenir
Wild Rose

Best Screenplay (Sponsored by BBC Films)

In Fabric - Peter Strickland
** Winner ** The Personal History of David Copperfield - Armando Iannucci/Simon Blackwell
Sorry We Missed You - Paul Laverty
The Souvenir - Joanna Hogg
Wild Rose - Nicole Taylor

Best Director (Sponsored by Broadsword Event House)

Bait - Mark Jenkin
Diego Maradona - Asif Kapadia
** Winner ** For Sama - Waad Al-Kateab /Edward Watts
Moffie - Oliver Hermanus
The Souvenir - Joanna Hogg

Best British Short (Supported by BFI Network)

** Winner ** Anna
Boiling Point
The Devil’s Harmony
Serious Tingz

Best Actor

The Last Tree - Sam Adewunmi
** Winner ** Only You - Josh O’Connor
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Dev Patel
Sorry We Missed You - Kris Hitchen
The Souvenir - Tom Burke

Best Actress

Animals - Holliday Grainger
Dirty God - Vicky Knight
Eternal Beauty - Sally Hawkins
** Winner ** Judy - Renée Zellweger
Wild Rose - Jessie Buckley

Best Supporting Actor

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - Chiwetel Ejiofor
Dirty God - Bluey Robinson
** Winner ** The Personal History of David Copperfield - Hugh Laurie
The Vanishing - Peter Mullan
Yuli – The Carlos Acosta Story - Edilson Manuel Olbera Nuñez

Best Supporting Actress

** Winner ** The Last Tree - Ruthxjiah Bellenea
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Tilda Swinton
Scarborough - Jessica Barden
Vita & Virginia - Elizabeth Debicki
Wild Rose - Julie Walters

Most Promising Newcomer

Beats - Lorn Macdonald
Dirty God - Vicky Knight
** Winner ** The Last Tree - Sam Adewunmi
Lynn + Lucy - Roxanne Scrimshaw
The Souvenir - Honor Swinton Byrne

The Raindance Discovery Award

A Bump Along The Way - Shelly Love /Tess Mcgowan /Louise Gallagher
** Winner ** Children Of The Snow Land - Zara Balfour /Marcus Stephenson /Mark Hakansson
Here For Life - Andrea Luka Zimmerman /Adrian Jackson /James Lingwood /Michael Morris /Cressida Day
Muscle - Gerard Johnson /Matthew James Wilkinson /Richard Wylie /Ed Barratt
The Street - Zed Nelson

The Douglas Hickox Award for Debut Director (Sponsored by Kodak & Pinewood)

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind - Chiwetel Ejiofor
Boyz In The Wood - Ninian Doff
Lynn + Lucy - Fyzal Boulifa
** Winner ** Only You - Harry Wootliff
A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon - Will Becher /Richard Phelan

Debut Screenwriter (Sponsored by Film4)

** Winner ** Animals - Emma Jane Unsworth
Beats - Kieran Hurley
Days of the Bagnold Summer - Lisa Owens
Only You - Harry Wootliff
Wild Rose - Nicole Taylor

Best Documentary

Coup 53
Diego Maradona
** Winner ** For Sama
Tell Me Who I Am

Breakthrough Producer

** Winner ** Bait - Kate Byers /Linn Waite
Blue Story - Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (Also Produced by Damian Jones)
Moffie - Jack Sidey (Also Produced by Eric Abraham)
Three Identical Strangers - Becky Read (Also Produced by Grace Hughes-Hallett)
Tucked - Finn Bruce

Best International Independent Film (Sponsored by Champagne Taittinger)

Ash Is Purest White
Marriage Story
** Winner ** Parasite
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Best Casting (Sponsored by Casting Society Of America & Spotlight)

In Fabric - Shaheen Baig
The Last Tree - Shaheen Baig /Aisha Bywaters
Only You - Kahleen Crawford /Caroline Stewart
** Winner ** The Personal History of David Copperfield - Sarah Crowe
Wild Rose - Kahleen Crawford

Best Cinematography

** Winner ** Beats - Benjamin Kracun
In Fabric - Ari Wegner
Judy - Ole Bratt Birkeland
Moffie - Jamie D Ramsay
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Zac Nicholson

Best Costume Design

In Fabric - Jo Thompson
Judy - Jany Temime
** Winner ** The Personal History of David Copperfield - Suzie Harman /Robert Worley
The Souvenir - Grace Snell
Wild Rose - Anna Mary Scott Robbins

Best Editing (Sponsored by Intermission Film)

Bait - Mark Jenkin
Diego Maradona - Chris King
** Winner ** For Sama - Chloe Lambourne /Simon Mcmahon
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Mick Audsley /Peter Lambert
The Souvenir - Helle Le Fevre

Best Make-Up & Hair Design (Sponsored by Mac)

Dirty God - Morten Jacobsen /Rogier Samuels /Lindelotte Van Der Meer
In Fabric - Emma Scott
** Winner ** Judy - Jeremy Woodhead
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Karen Hartley-Thomas
Wild Rose - Jody Williams

Best Music (Sponsored by Universal Music Publishing Group)

Beats - JD Twitch /Penelope Trappes /Stephen Hindman
Diego Maradona - Antonio Pinto
For Sama - Nainita Desai
In Fabric - Cavern Of Anti-Matter
** Winner ** Wild Rose - Jack Arnold

Best Production Design (Sponsored by Studio Juice)

In Fabric - Paki Smith
Judy - Kave Quinn
** Winner ** The Personal History of David Copperfield - Cristina Casali
The Souvenir - Stéphane Collonge
The White Crow - Anne Seibel

Best Sound (Supported by Halo Post)

** Winner ** Beats - David Bowtle-Mcmillan /Joakim Sundström /Robert Farr
Diego Maradona - Stephen Griffiths /Tim Cavagin /Max Walsh /Andy Shelley
Gwen - Anna My Bertmark /Jonathan Seale /Jules Woods
In Fabric - Martin Pavey /Rob Entwistle
Wild Rose - Colin Nicolson /Lee Walpole /Stuart Hilliker

Best Effects

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind - Andy Quinn
In Fabric - Paul Mann
** Winner ** A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon - Howard Jones

Special Jury Prize

** Winner ** Amanda Nevill

The Richard Harris Award For Outstanding Contribution by An Actor To British Film

** Winner ** Kristin Scott Thomas

Images & info - BIFA
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