Film - BIFA 2021 Winners


This year's British Independent Film Award (BIFA) Winners were announced over the weekend, here's the full list...


Press Release

Following the BIFA Craft Award Winners announced on 19th November, Sunday saw a live ceremony held at Old Billingsgate, where this year’s host Asim Chaudhry presided over the 2021 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs).

The award for Best British Independent Film, presented by Kate Beckinsale, went to After Love, Aleem Khan’s moving directorial debut in which a recently widowed woman comes to terms with a shocking secret about her husband’s life. This film was the big winner of the evening as Aleem Khan won three further BIFA awards – Best Director, The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director and Best Screenplay sponsored by BBC Film, with Joanna Scanlan taking home Best Actress and Talid Ariss Best Supporting Actor for their performances in the film.

Adeel Akhtar was awarded Best Actor for his role in Clio Barnard’s tender story of forbidden love, Ali & Ava, which also saw Connie Farr and Harry Escott scoring the Best Music sponsored by Universal Music Publishing BIFA.

The Best Supporting Actress award went to Vinette Robinson for her work in Philip Barantini’s multi-BIFA nominated single-take restaurant kitchen drama Boiling Point. Boiling Point also received awards for Carolyn McCleod for Best Casting sponsored by Spotlight and Casting Society; Matthew Lewis for Best Cinematography sponsored by Dirty Looks & Kodak and James Drake, Rob Entwistle and Kiff McManus for Best Sound supported by Halo.

Breakthrough Performance went to Nell Barlow, star of Marley Morrison’s British holiday park set coming-of-age debut Sweetheart, which also won the Breakthrough Producer sponsored by Pinewood Studio Group for Michelle Antoniades.

Cathy Brady won Best Debut Screenwriter sponsored by Film4 for Wildfire, which follows two sisters from Northern Ireland reconnecting with each other and their past.

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché, Paul Sng and Celeste Bell’s intimate film about the titular punk icon and X-ray Spex frontwoman, claimed both Best Documentary sponsored by Intermission and The Raindance Discovery Award.

Best British Short Film went to FEMME, in which a night out takes a dark turn for a femme gay man.

Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, the animated real-life story of a childhood refugee’s hidden past, won Best International Independent Film sponsored by Champagne Taittinger, this category was won by Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland in 2020.

The Souvenir Part II, Joanna Hogg’s follow up to her critically acclaimed feature The Souvenir was awarded three craft awards, Best Costume Design for Grace Snell, Best Editing for Helle Le Fevre and Best Production Design for Stéphane Collonge, all three were nominated for The Souvenir in 2019.

Best Effects was taken by Mike Knights, Steven Bray Dan Martin and Leigh Cranston for their work on Rob Savage’s Road trip horror Dashcam and Vickie Lang, Kristyan Mallet and Donald McInnes were awarded the Best Make Up & Hair BIFA for Will Sharpe’s period biopic The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film was presented to Riz Ahmed.

The Special Jury Prize, awarded by the BIFA Main Jury, which this year included Jennifer Ehle, Alice Lowe, Emma Corrin and Bennet McGhee, was given to Raising Films, the groundbreaking organisation which supports and campaigns for parents and carers working in the UK screen sector.




BIFA 2021 nominations (WINNERS in BOLD)

Best British Independent Film


** WINNER ** After Love - Aleem Khan, Matthieu De Braconier
Ali & Ava - Clio Barnard, Tracy O’riordan
Boiling Point - Philip Barantini, James Cummings, Bart Ruspoli, Hester Ruoff
The Nest - Sean Durkin, Ed Guiney, Derrin Schlesinger, Rose Garnett, Amy Jackson, Cristina Piovesan
The Souvenir Part II - Joanna Hogg, Ed Guiney, Emma Norton, Andrew Lowe, Luke Schiller

Best Director

Philip Barantini - Boiling Point
Clio Barnard - Ali & Ava
Sean Durkin - The Nest
Joanna Hogg - The Souvenir Part II
** WINNER ** Aleem Khan - After Love

Best Screenplay

Clio Barnard - Ali & Ava
Terence Davies - Benediction
Sean Durkin - The Nest
Joanna Hogg - The Souvenir Part II
** WINNER ** Aleem Khan - After Love

Best Actress

Caitríona Balfe - Belfast
Carrie Coon - The Nest
Claire Rushbrook - Ali & Ava
** WINNER ** Joanna Scanlan - After Love
Ruth Wilson - True Things

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed - Encounter
** WINNER ** Adeel Akhtar - Ali & Ava
Stephen Graham - Boiling Point
Jude Law - The Nest
James Norton - Nowhere Special



Best Supporting Actress

Judi Dench - Belfast
Jo Hartley - Sweetheart
Nathalie Richard - After Love
** WINNER ** Vinette Robinson - Boiling Point
Tilda Swinton - The Souvenir Part II

Best Supporting Actor

** WINNER ** Talid Ariss - After Love
Richard Ayoade - The Souvenir Part II
Lucian-River Chauhan - Encounter
Ciarán Hinds - Belfast
Ray Panthaki - Boiling Point

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director)

Prano Bailey-Bond - Censor
Celeste Bell - Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché [also directed by Paul Sng]
Cathy Brady – Wildfire
** WINNER ** Aleem Khan - After Love
Marley Morrison - Sweetheart

Breakthrough Producer

** WINNER ** Michelle Antoniades - Sweetheart
Helen Jones - Censor
Jessica Malik - She Will [also produced by Bob Last]
Hester Ruoff - Boiling Point [also produced by Bart Ruspoli]
Rob Watson - The Power [also produced by Matthew James Wilkinson]

Breakthrough Performance

Lauryn Ajufo - Boiling Point
** WINNER ** Nell Barlow - Sweetheart
Max Harwood - Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Jude Hill - Belfast
Ellora Torchia - In The Earth

Best Debut Screenwriter

Prano Bailey-Bond - Censor [also written by Anthony Fletcher]
** WINNER ** Cathy Brady - Wildfire
Aleem Khan - After Love
Marley Morrison - Sweetheart
Reggie Yates – Pirates


Best Documentary


Cow - Andrea Arnold, Kat Mansoor
Dying To Divorce - Chloë Fairweather, Sinead Kirwan
I Am Belmaya - Sue Carpenter, Christopher Hird
Keyboard Fantasies - Posy Dixon, Liv Proctor
** WINNER ** Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché - Paul Sng, Celeste Bell, Zoë Howe, Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman, Daria Nitsche

The Discovery Award

Bank Job - Daniel Edelstyn, Hilary Powell, Christopher Hird
The Bike Thief - Matt Chambers, Pk Fellowes, Sophia Gibber, Lene Bausager
I Am Belmaya - Sue Carpenter, Christopher Hird
** WINNER ** Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché Paul Sng, Celeste Bell, Zoë Howe, Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman, Daria Nitsche
Rebel Dykes - Harri Shanahan, Siân A. Williams, Siobhan Fahey

Best British Short Film

Egúngún (Masquerade) - Olive Nwosu, Alex Polunin
** WINNER ** Femme - Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping, Sam Riztenberg, Hayley Williams, Rienjke Attoh
Night Of The Living Dread - Ida Melum, Laura Jayne Tunbridge, Hannah Kelso, Danielle Goff
Play It Safe - Mitch Kalisa, Chris Toumazou
Precious Hair & Beauty - John Ogunmuyiwa, Sophia Gibber, Tony Longe, Lene Bausager

Best International Independent Film

Compartment No. 6 - Juho Kuosmanen, Livia Ulman, Andris Feldmanis, Jussi Rantamäki, Emilia Haukka
First Cow - Kelly Reichardt, Jon Raymond, Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani
** WINNER ** Flee - Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Amin Nawabi, Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Petite Maman - Céline Sciamma, Bénédicte Couvreur
Pleasure - Ninja Thyberg, Peter Modestij, Erik Hemmendorff, Eliza Jones, Markus Waltå


Best Casting


Shaheen Baig - After Love
Shaheen Baig - Ali & Ava
Shaheen Baig - Pirates
Lucy Bevan, Emily Brockmann - Belfast
** WINNER ** Carolyn Mcleod - Boiling Point

Best Cinematography

Mátyás Erdély - The Nest
Magdalena Kowalczyk - Cow
** WINNER ** Matthew Lewis - Boiling Point
Annika Summerson - Censor
Haris Zambarloukos – Belfast

Best Costume Design

Michael O’Connor - The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain
** WINNER ** Grace Snell - The Souvenir Part II
Guy Speranza - Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Annie Symons - Benediction
Charlotte Walter – Belfast

Best Editing

** WINNER ** Helle Le Fevre - The Souvenir Part II
Rebecca Lloyd, Jacob Schulsinger, Nicolas Chaudeurge - Cow
Úna Ní Dhonghaíle - Belfast
Mark Towns - Censor
Ben Wheatley - In The Earth

Best Music

Iain Cooke - Pirates
** WINNER ** Connie Farr, Harry Escott - Ali & Ava
Jed Kurzel - Encounter
Clint Mansell - In The Earth
Van Morrison – Belfast

Best Make-Up & Hair

Siobhan Harper-Ryan - The Souvenir Part II
** WINNER ** Vickie Lang, Kristyan Mallett, Donald McInnes - The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain
Ruth Pease - Censor
Nadia Stacey - Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Wakana Yoshihara – Belfast

Best Effects

** WINNER ** Steven Bray, Mike Knights - DASHCAM
Gary Brown, István Molnár, Dan Martin - Censor
Rupert Davies - The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain

Best Production Design

Jim Clay - Belfast
** WINNER ** Stéphane Collonge - The Souvenir Part II
Suzie Davies - The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain
Aimee Meek - Boiling Point
Paulina Rzeszowska – Censor

Best Sound

Nicolas Becker, Cyril Holtz, Linda Forsen - Cow
** WINNER ** James Drake - Boiling Point
Tim Harrison, Jamie Roden, Adele Fletcher - Censor
Martin Pavey - In The Earth
Andrew Stirk, Paul Davies, Morgan Muse, Bernard O’reilly, Julian Howarth - Encounter

Images - BIFA/IMDb