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Lady Macbeth and God's Own Country triumph at British independent film awards

Lady Macbeth

Story by Jack Foley

GOD’S Own Country, Francis Lee’s drama about a gay relationship between a Yorkshire farmer and a Romanian migrant worker, was crowned best independent film at the British independent film awards.

The film, based on its director’s own upbringing, beat competition from Armando Iannucci’s political satire The Death of Stalin and revenge drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, to take home the award for best British independent film,

And it also picked up trophies for leading man Josh O’Connor, as best actor, and for Lee, who was awarded best debut screenplay for his script.

Dark period drama Lady Macbeth (pictured) was the evening’s other big winner, picking up three awards to add to the already announced best cinematography and best costume design.

Leading lady Florence Pugh was crowned best actress for her role as a 19th Century woman who takes desperate measures to escape a loveless marriage, while the film’s screenwriter Alice Birch took home best screenplay and Naomi Ackie received most promising newcomer.

Elsewhere, Rungano Nyoni became the first person since Anton Corbijn in 2007 to win both best director and best debut director for her drama I Am Not a Witch, whose producer Emily Morgan also received best breakthrough producer.

Patricia Clarkson won best supporting actor for her appearance in Sally Potter’s drawing-room comedy The Party.

And Simon Russell Beale received best supporting actor for his turn in The Death of Stalin, which had previously won technical awards for best production design, best make-up and hair design and best casting.

Kristin Scott Thomas presented Gary Oldman with the Variety award, which recognised the global impact made by the actor in representing the British film industry.

The special jury prize was awarded to Femi Oguns of the Identity School of Acting and Identity Agency Group, for his work in tackling the absence of BAME talent on screen.

And veteran actress Vanessa Redgrave received the Richard Harris award, which recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor.

Redgrave was presented the award by her daughter Joely Richardson.

The main winners at a glance…

Best British independent film
God’s Own Country

Best international independent film
Get Out

Best director
Rungano Nyoni, I Am Not a Witch

Best actor
Josh O’Connor, God’s Own Country

Best actress
Florence Pugh, Lady Macbeth

Best screenplay
Alice Birch, Lady Macbeth

Best supporting actress
Patricia Clarkson, The Party

Best supporting actor
Simon Russell Beale, The Death of Stalin

Debut screenplay
Francis Lee, God’s Own Country

Douglas Hickok award for best debut director
Rungano Nyoni, I Am Not a Witch

Best documentary
Almost Heaven, directed by Carol Salter

Breakthrough producer
Emily Morgan, I Am Not a Witch

Best British short film
Fish Story

Most promising newcomer
Naomi Ackie, Lady Macbeth

The discovery award
In Another Life

Best cinematography
Ari Wegner, Lady Macbeth

Best casting
Sarah Crowe, The Death of Stalin

Best costume design
Holly Waddington, Lady Macbeth

Best editing
Jon Gregory, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best effects
Nick Allder, Ben White, The Ritual

Best music
Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best make-up and hair design
Nicole Stafford, The Death of Stalin

Best production design
Cristina Casali, The Death of Stalin

Best sound
Anna Bertmark, God’s Own Country

Variety award
Gary Oldman

Richard Harris Award
Vanessa Redgrave

Special Jury Award
Femi Oguns