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Ex_Machina wins big at British Independent Film Awards


Story by Jack Foley

ALEX Garland’s sci-i drama Ex_Machina emerged as the big winner at the Moët British Independent Film Awards, claiming four awards.

The film took home Best British Independent Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay (both for Garland) as well as Outstanding Achievement in Craft for its Visual Effects, by Andrew Whitehurst.

The film will now be screened in 74 cinemas across the country on Sunday, December 13, 2015, as part of a landmark BIFA screening series supported by the BFI.

In the other top categories, Tom Hardy won Best Actor for his dual role as Ronnie and Reggie Kray in Legend, while Saoirse Ronan picked up Best Actress for Brooklyn.

Olivia Colman won her third BIFA for her Best Supporting Actress performance in The Lobster and Brendan Gleeson made it two years in a row, winning Best Supporting Actor for Suffragette. He was crowned Best Actor last year for Calvary.

Colin Farrell presented the Most Promising Newcomer award to Abigail Hardingham for her breakthrough performance in Nina Forever.

The Special Jury Prize was presented to Chris Collins, the BFI executive who died late last year.

Director of the BFI Lottery Film Fund Ben Roberts commented: “This is a really wonderful tribute to Chris. He is greatly missed, but his contribution to so many films and filmmakers continues to burn brightly. A heartfelt thanks to the BIFA jury.”

In the closely-fought Best Documentary category, Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance won out over Amy, How to Change the World, Palio and A Syrian Love Story.

And Room was named Best International Independent Film. Jacob Tremblay, the young star of the film, collected the award with the team.

The team behind Kajaki: The True Story took home Producer of the Year and Stephen Fingleton was named Best Debut Director for The Survivalist. The award is presented in honour of director Douglas Hickox.

Edmond won Best Short and The Discovery Award went to Orion: The Man Who Would Be King.

The 18th BIFA ceremony, which was hosted by Richard Ayoade, was held at Old Billingsgate in London on Sunday, December 6.

Laurence Green, chairman of the BIFA Board, said: “As part of our mission to build the widest audience we can for British independent film, it is BIFA’s great honour to celebrate the cream of the crop once a year at the Moët British Independent Film Awards.

“This year’s winners speak volumes, not just for their excellence but also for the undimmed ambition and beautiful diversity of the stories they tell.”