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Pride, '71 and Calvary among main winners at British Independent Film Awards

Pride

Story by Jack Foley

MINERS’ strike drama Pride (pictured) has been named best film at the Moet British Independent Film Awards.

The inspirational film, which chronicled the true story of an alliance between gay rights campaigners and pit workers during the 1984 strike, also picked up two further awards for best supporting actor and actress – for, respectively, Andrew Scott and Imelda Staunton. Its haul of three trophies was the most won by any film on the night.

Upon collecting the main prize, however, the film’s director Matthew Warchus said: “We’re getting reports from up and down the country of audiences standing up and applauding. That doesn’t really happen in British cinemas. It’s just extraordinary. It’s a real tribute to the source material.”

Another of the night’s top awards went to Brendan Gleeson, who was named best actor for his role as a Catholic priest who is told in the confessional that he is going to be killed in a week in Calvary.

Commenting upon his prize, Gleeson told the BBC: “Independent film allows subjects to be approached that are not massive crowd-pullers. Fantastic films are made in the independent circuit. It’s whether people want to pay for something that’s going to challenge them.”

Gugu Mbatha-Raw won best actress for her performance in period drama Belle.

Going into the ceremony, held on Sunday, December 7, 2014, Northern Ireland thriller 71 had led the field with nine nominations. But the gritty drama, which finds Jack O’Connell playing a British soldier left stranded on the streets of an IRA controlled Belfast, only picked up one prize for best director for Yann Demange.

However, in a night when awards were shared among the many British film successes of the year, there were further prizes for Frank Sidebottom-inspired film Frank, which won best screenplay for its writers Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan and a technical achievement prize for its music.

And Sameena Jabeen Ahmed was named most promising newcomer for her role in the thriller Catch Me Daddy.

Richard Linklater’s critically-acclaimed Boyhood won best international film, Next Goal Wins was named best documentary and The Karman Line was named best short. The Raindance award went to fantasy drama Luna.

Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson was presented with the Richard Harris award for outstanding contribution to British film.

Benedict Cumberbatch took home the Variety Award, which recognises an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to shine the international spotlight on the UK. And the Special Jury Prize went to John Boorman.

Commenting on this year’s prizes, Johanna von Fischer & Tessa Collinson, joint directors of the awards for the final year, said: “In our final year as Directors it is terrific to see such an amazing mix of the established and new being represented in our honourees tonight. The range of diverse and unique talent in this country is awe inspiring. Our jury has had some truly tough decisions to make.

“We hope these results will excite audiences and encourage more people to search out these films creating a greater demand for British Independent cinema. 2014 also sees us celebrate five years of a fabulous partnership with title sponsor Moët & Chandon, who add that extra sparkle each year for which we are incredibly grateful.”

The awards and nominees in full are (winners appear in bold)

BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM
’71
Calvary
Mr Turner
Pride
The Imitation Game

BEST DIRECTOR
John Michael McDonagh – Calvary
Lenny Abrahamson – Frank
Matthew Warchus – Pride
Mike Leigh – Mr Turner
Yann Demange – ’71

THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR]
Daniel Wolfe, Matthew Wolfe – Catch Me Daddy
Hong Khaou – Lilting
Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard – 20,000 Days on Earth
Morgan Matthews – X+Y Yann Demange – ’71

BEST SCREENPLAY
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
Gregory Burke – ’71
John Michael McDonagh – Calvary
Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan – Frank
Stephen Beresford – Pride

BEST ACTRESS
Alicia Vikander – Testament of Youth
Cheng Pei Pei – Lilting
Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Sameena Jabeen Ahmed – Catch Me Daddy

BEST ACTOR
Asa Butterfield – X+Y
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Brendan Gleeson – Calvary
Jack O’Connell – ’71
Timothy Spall – Mr Turner

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Dorothy Atkinson – Mr Turner
Imelda Staunton – Pride
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Frank
Sally Hawkins – X+Y
Sienna Guillory – The Goob

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Andrew Scott – Pride
Ben Schnetzer – Pride
Michael Fassbender – Frank
Rafe Spall – X+Y
Sean Harris – ‘71

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
Ben Schnetzer – Pride
Cara Delevingne – The Face of An Angel
Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle
Liam Walpole – The Goob
Sameena Jabeen Ahmed – Catch Me Daddy

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION
’71
20,000 Days on Earth
Catch Me Daddy
Lilting
The Goob

BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Chris Wyatt – Editing – ’71
Dick Pope – Cinematography – Mr Turner
Robbie Ryan – Cinematography – Catch Me Daddy
Stephen Rennicks – Music – Frank
Tat Radcliffe – Cinematography – ’71

BEST DOCUMENTARY
20,000 Days on Earth
Next Goal Wins
Night Will Fall
The Possibilities Are Endless
Virunga

BEST BRITISH SHORT
Crocodile
Emotional Fusebox
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Slap
The Kármán Line

BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM
Blue Ruin
Boyhood
Fruitvale Station
Ida
The Babadook

THE RAINDANCE AWARD
Flim: The Movie… Gregor
Luna
Keeping Rosy
The Beat Beneath My Feet

THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)
Emma Thompson

THE VARIETY AWARD
Benedict Cumberbatch

THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
John Boorman