Film - BIFA Nominations 2020

23rd B.I.F.A. awards nominations

The nominations for this year's British Independent film awards have been announced. Susan Omand picks her winners...


Press Release

Saint Maud leads the list of nominations for the 2020 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), announced yesterday morning by British actors Holliday Grainger and Micheal Ward. The nominations reveal a wealth of new UK filmmaking talent, with a strong showing for first-time filmmakers across the board; they also showcase the diversity of talent working in the UK, with female directors and filmmakers and performers of colour well represented in many categories.

Rose Glass’ sharp and smart psychological horror, a chilling hit with audiences on release in October, is nominated for Best British Independent Film, Best Screenplay sponsored by BBC Film and Best Director, as well as in the debut categories: Breakthrough Producer, Debut Director and Debut Screenwriter sponsored by Film4. Morfydd Clark is nominated for Best Actress and Jennifer Ehle for Supporting Actress. The film also features heavily in the technical categories with nominations for Best Casting sponsored by Casting Society of America & Spotlight, Best Cinematography sponsored by Dirty Looks, Best Costume Design, Best Editing sponsored by Intermission Film, Best Make Up & Hair Design, Best Production Design sponsored by Studio Juice, Best Sound and Best Effects.

Saint Maud will be taking on Remi Weekes’ His House, which has 16 nominations across the Director, Screenplay, debut and technical categories. Weaving the real-life horrors faced by asylum seekers with terrors altogether more supernatural, Weekes’ powerful debut also received nominations in Best Actress and Best Actor for Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù.

Rocks, Sarah Gavron and Anu Henrique’s fresh, poignant and genuinely uplifting take on 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. D’angleou Osei Kissiedu is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Director Nick Rowland and producer Daniel Emmerson’s first feature Calm With Horses has 10 nominations in the debut categories as well as recognition for performers Cosmo Jarvis (Best Actor), Niamh Algar (Best Supporting Actress, Most Promising Newcomer) and Barry Keoghan (Best Supporting Actor) and for casting director Shaheen Baig.

Florian Zeller’s The Father completes the Best British Independent Film line up. The film has six nominations in total, including a first BIFA nomination for Anthony Hopkins for his portrayal of the titular Father, a man struggling – quite literally – with the realities of the changing circumstances ageing brings.

Riz Ahmed has four BIFA nominations this year: as Best Actor, Debut Screenwriter and Best Screenplay for Mogul Mowgli and also for The Long Goodbye, a short film which he wrote and starred in. Riz’s Mogul Mowgli co-star Alyy Khan is also recognised in the Supporting Actor category. Andrea Riseborough is nominated for Best Actress for her performance as a British aid worker haunted by past choices in Luxor; Clare Dunne is nominated for her performance in Herself, which she also co-wrote.

Debut Director Henry Blake is nominated for County Lines, alongside lead actor Conrad Khan, nominated for Most Promising Newcomer, and supporting actors Ashley Madekwe and Harris Dickinson. Frankie Box is named a Most Promising Newcomer for her role in Perfect 10. Eva Riley is nominated for Best Debut Director and the film is nominated for The Raindance Discovery Award. 

Amongst four nominations for the film, Amir El-Masry is nominated for Best Actor for Limbo and Merab Ninidze is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in cold war thriller The Courier opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Richard Harris Award, introduced in 2002 in honour of Richard Harris, recognises outstanding contribution to British Film by an actor. Previous winners have been Daniel Day Lewis, Julie Walters, John Hurt, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench and Kristin Scott Thomas in 2019. This year’s recipient will be announced in January.

This year's winners will be announced in early February. You can watch the nominations announcement here but we've included the full list of nominations below alongside Susan Omand's picks for her winners.


Best British Independent Film

Calm With Horses - Nick Rowland / Joe Murtagh / Daniel Emmerson
** WILL WIN ** The Father - Florian Zeller / Christopher Hampton / David Parfitt / Jean-Louis Livi / Philippe Carcassonne
His House - Remi Weekes / Martin Gentles / Edward King / Roy Lee / Aidan Elliott / Arnon Milchan
Rocks - Sarah Gavron / Theresa Ikoko / Claire Wilson / Faye Ward / Ameenah Ayub Allen
Saint Maud - Rose Glass / Oliver Kassman / Andrea Cornwell


Best Screenplay - Sponsored By BBC Film

The Father - Florian Zeller / Christopher Hampton
His House - Remi Weekes
Mogul Mowgli - Bassam Tariq / Riz Ahmed
Rocks - Theresa Ikoko / Claire Wilson
** WILL WIN ** Saint Maud - Rose Glass


Best Director

Calm With Horses - Nick Rowland
The Father - Florian Zeller
His House - Remi Weekes
Rocks - Sarah Gavron, Associate Director Anu Henriques
** WILL WIN ** Saint Maud - Rose Glass


Best British Short - Supported By BFI Network

Filipiñana - Rafael Manuel / Naomi Pacifique
The Forgotten C - Molly Manning Walker / Jessi Gutch
The Long Goodbye - Aneil Karia / Riz Ahmed / Tom Gardner
** WILL WIN ** Mandem - John Ogunmuyiwa / Emily Everdee
Sudden Light - Sophie Littman / Tom Wood


Best Actor

Calm With Horses - Cosmo Jarvis
The Father - Anthony Hopkins
His House - Sopé Dìrísù
Limbo - Amir El-Masry
** WILL WIN ** Mogul Mowgli - Riz Ahmed


Best Actress

Herself - Clare Dunne
His House - Wunmi Mosaku
Luxor - Andrea Riseborough
Rocks - Bukky Bakray
** WILL WIN ** Saint Maud - Morfydd Clark


Best Supporting Actor

** WILL WIN ** Calm With Horses - Barry Keoghan
County Lines - Harris Dickinson
The Courier - Merab Ninidze
Mogul Mowgli - Alyy Khan
Rocks - D’angelou Osei Kissiedu


Best Supporting Actress

Calm With Horses - Niamh Algar
County Lines - Ashley Madekwe
Kindred - Fiona Shaw
** WILL WIN ** Rocks - Kosar Ali
Saint Maud - Jennifer Ehle


Most Promising Newcomer

Calm With Horses - Niamh Algar
County Lines - Conrad Khan
Perfect 10 - Frankie Box
Rocks - Bukky Bakray
** WILL WIN ** Rocks - Kosar Ali


The Raindance Discovery Award

Justine - Jamie Patterson / Jeff Murphy / Jason Rush / Sarah Drew / Julius Beltrame
Looted - Rene Van Pannevis / Kefi Chadwick / Jennifer Eriksson / Jessie Mangum
One Man And His Shoes - Yemi Bamiro / Will Thorne
Perfect 10 - Eva Riley / Jacob Thomas / Bertrand Faivre / Valentina Brazzini
** WILL WIN ** Rose: A Love Story - Jennifer Sheridan / April Kelley / Sara Huxley / Matt Stokoe / Rob Taylor / Sophie Rundle


The Douglas Hickox Award (Debut Director) - Sponsored By Kodak & Pinewood

Calm With Horses - Nick Rowland
County Lines - Henry Blake
His House - Remi Weekes
Perfect 10 - Eva Riley
** WILL WIN ** Saint Maud - Rose Glass


Debut Screenwriter - Sponsored By Film4

Calm With Horses - Joe Murtagh
His House - Remi Weekes
** WILL WIN ** Mogul Mowgli - Riz Ahmed, Also Written By Bassam Tariq
Rocks - Theresa Ikoko / Claire Wilson
Saint Maud - Rose Glass


Best Documentary

The Australian Dream - Daniel Gordon / Stan Grant / Sarah Thomson / Nick Batzias / Virginia Whitwell / John Battsek
Being A Human Person - Fred Scott / Mike Brett / Steve Jamison / Jo Jo Ellison
** WILL WIN ** The Reason I Jump - Jerry Rothwell / Jeremy Dear / Stevie Lee / Al Morrow
Rising Phoenix - Ian Bonhôte / Peter Ettedgui / Greg Nugent / John Battsek / Tatyana Mcfadden
White Riot - Rubika Shah / Ed Gibbs


Breakthrough Producer

** WILL WIN ** Calm With Horses - Daniel Emmerson
His House - Edward King / Martin Gentles, Also Produced By Aidan Elliott, Roy Lee, Arnon Milchan
Host - Douglas Cox, Also Produced By Emily Gotto, Samuel Zimmerman
Limbo - Irune Gurtubai, Also Produced By Angus Lamont
Saint Maud - Oliver Kassman, Also Produced By Andrea Cornwell


Best International Independent Film
- Sponsored By Champagne Taittinger

** WILL WIN ** Babyteeth - Shannon Murphy / Rita Kalnejais / Alex White
Les Misérables - Ladj Ly / Giordano Gederlini / Alexis Manenti / Toufik Ayadi / Christophe Barral
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - Eliza Hittman / Adele Romanski / Sara Murphy
Nomadland - Chloé Zhao / Frances Mcdormand / Peter Spears / Mollye Asher / Dan Janvey
Notturno - Gianfranco Rosi / Donatella Palermo / Paolo Del Brocco / Serge Lalou / Camille Laemlé / Orwa Nyrabia / Eva-Maria Weerts


Best Casting - Sponsored By Casting Society Of America & Spotlight

** WILL WIN ** Calm With Horses - Shaheen Baig
His House - Carmen Cuba
Limbo - Dan Jackson
Rocks - Lucy Pardee
Saint Maud - Kharmel Cochrane


Best Cinematography - Sponsored By Dirty Looks

His House - Jo Willems
Limbo - Nick Cooke
** WILL WIN ** Mogul Mowgli - Annika Summerson
Rocks - Hélène Louvart
Saint Maud - Ben Fordesman


Best Costume Design

** WILL WIN ** Ammonite - Michael O’Connor
Misbehaviour - Charlotte Walter
Rocks - Ruka Johnson
Saint Maud - Tina Kalivas
The Secret Garden - Michele Clapton


Best Editing - Sponsored By Intermission Film

** WILL WIN ** The Father - Yorgos Lamprinos
His House - Julia Bloch
Host - Brenna Rangott
Rocks - Maya Maffioli
Saint Maud - Mark Towns


Best Make-Up & Hair Design

Ammonite - Ivana Primorac
His House - Sharon A. Martin
** WILL WIN ** Misbehaviour - Jill Sweeney
Rocks - Nora Robertson
Saint Maud - Jacquetta Levon


Best Music - Sponsored By Universal Music Publishing Group

His House - Roque Baños
Mogul Mowgli - Paul Corley
** WILL WIN ** The Reason I Jump - Nainita Desai
Rocks - Connie Farr / Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch
Saint Maud - Adam Janota Bzowski


Best Production Design - Sponsored By Studio Juice

The Father - Peter Francis
His House - Jacqueline Abrahams
** WILL WIN ** Misbehaviour - Cristina Casali
Saint Maud - Paulina Rzeszowska
Undergods - Marketa Korinkova / Elo Soode


Best Sound - Supported By Halo Post

His House - Adrian Bell / Glenn Freemantle / Frank Kruse / Brendan Nicholson / Richard Pryke
Host - Calum Sample
Mogul Mowgli - Paul Davies / Robert Farr / Nigel Albermaniche / Ian Morgan
The Reason I Jump - Nick Ryan / Ben Baird / Sara De Oliveira Lima
** WILL WIN ** Saint Maud - Paul Davies


Best Effects

His House - Pedro Sabrosa / Stefano Pepin
** WILL WIN ** Saint Maud - Scott Macintyre / Bariş Kareli / Kristyan Mallett
Undergods - Agnes Asplund / Martin Malmqvist


Images & info - BIFA website (guesses - Omand's Own)