Story by: Jack Foley
ABORTION drama, Vera Drake,
swept the board at the British Independent Film Awards, taking
six prizes at the annual event.
Mike Leigh's controversial drama, which won the Golden
Lion at Venice and opened the London Film Festival, was named
Best British Independent Film.
Leigh was named best director and the film's star, Imelda Staunton,
followed up her Venice success by being named Best Actress. Her
co-star, Phil Davis, who plays her loyal husband, was named best
The film is set in 1950s London as Vera Drake (Staunton) performs
illegal abortions for women who get into trouble.
When one of her patients almost dies, however, the police investigation
leads to Drake and shatters the lives of everyone around her.
The film was one of the strong performers at this year's London
Film Festival and opens in UK cinemas in January.
Director, Mike Leigh, described the
accolades as 'a surprise and an honour.
Of the other award winners (announced on Tuesday, November 30,
2004), Bafta-winning documentary, Touching
the Void, picked up two awards, while zombie comedy, Shaun
of the Dead, won best screenplay for its writers Simon Pegg
and Edgar Wright.
Ashley Walters, a member of So Solid Crew, was named best newcomer
for his performance in Bullet Boy, about gang life in London.
And popular Korean film, Oldboy,
beat The Motorcycle Diaries
and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit
9/11 to win best foreign film.
The thriller, by Chan-wook Park, tells the tale of a man imprisoned
in a hotel room for 15 years with no explanation as to why.
The Raindance Award went to The Barn, a film which which focused
on two injured US brothers locked in a barn following a run-in
with some comedy East End gangsters. It is directed by Ruaridh