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BIFA British Independent Awardsnominees announced


A trio of films dominate the 2005 British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nominations announced today, Tuesday 25 October.

The BIFAs, now regarded as the kick-off of to the awards season which culminates in the BAFTA and Academy Awards in Spring 2006, will be presented on Wednesday 30 November at Hammersmith Palais.

Stephen Frears' Mrs Henderson Presents, debut director Laurence Dunmore's The Libertine, and Brazilian director Fernando Mereilles' The Constant Gardner, top the list of most nominated films; Frears and Dunmore's films each registering eight nominations, followed by Meirelles' with seven nominations.

Another front-runner for a clutch of awards is Michael Winterbottom's A Cock and Bull Story, which racks up 5 nominations. Winterbottom has become something of a fixture in the annual nominations lists; his films have drawn nominations every year since 2001, and with his latest receives his fourth best director nomination.

Other returning nominees include Kinky Boots actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, a previous best actor winner for Dirty Pretty Things; actress Emily Watson receives her third nomination in Richard E Grant's Wah-Wah, and director Stephen Frears heads for possibly another best director award with Mrs Henderson Presents, having first taken the award with Dirty Pretty Things in 2003.

Between them, Mrs Henderson, The Constant Gardner, The Libertine and A Cock and Bull Story monopolise the main awards categories, letting in only a handful of outsiders, notably Neil Marshall's The Descent, which scores 3 nominations including best film, and Kinky Boots and In My Father's Den, which receive 3 and 2 nominations respectively.

Mrs Henderson Presents sees actors Bob Hoskins, Judi Dench and Kelly Reilly all nominated, along with director Frears, writer Martin Sherman, a best technical achievement nomination for costume designer Sandy Powell, as well as a best British film nod.

The Libertine draws nominations for actors Johnny Depp, Tom Hollander, Rosamund Pike, and Rupert Friend, a best director nomination, and a possible vote for best British film.

The story is much the same for The Constant Gardner, with Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz and Bill Nighy named in the actor nominations, as well as featuring in the screenplay, director, and best British film categories.

Elsewhere the field is wide open: proving you're never too old or too young to get a break in the business, the best newcomer category sees septuagenarian Coronation Street veteran Thelma Barlow, making her film debut in Mrs Henderson Presents, line up against eleven-year-old Millions star Alexander Nathan Etel. Also contending in the category are Emily Barclay (In My Father's Den), Samina Awan (Love + Hate) and Rupert Friend (The Libertine).

Apart from seasoned actor Bill Nighy, receiving a second nomination in three years, this time for The Constant Gardner, the best supporting actor/actress category welcomes for the first time Rob Brydon, for A Cock and Bull Story, Rosamund Pike and Tom Hollander, both for their roles in restoration drama The Libertine, and Kelly Reilly, for her role in Stephen Frears' Mrs Henderson Presents.

The Debut director category brings nominations for Annie Griffin (Festival), Julian Jarrold (Kinky Boots), Laurence Dunmore (The Libertine), Gaby Dellal (On A Clear Day), and actor-turned-director, Richard E Grant, for his dramatisation of his South African childhood years, Wah-Wah.

Non-jury awards go to Keira Knightley, for Variety UK Personality of the Year, and at the discretion of the steering committee, Tilda Swinton receives the Richard Harris Award, given for outstanding contribution to the craft.

Announcing its decision to honour Knightley this year, Variety's Executive Editor Stephen Gaydos says: "There's no brighter star in the world today than actress Keira Knightley, who's gone in a few short years from breakout success in Bend It Like Beckham to blockbuster hits like King Arthur, Pirates of the Caribbean and Love Actually.

"This year, Knightley has demonstrated an impressive range, getting gritty in Domino, dark in The Jacket and solidifying her leading lady status in the critically-acclaimed Pride and Prejudice, while also joining the gangplank again for the much-anticipated Pirates II & III.

"That's why Knightley is Variety's UK Personality of the Year, an honour she will receive on-stage at the British Independent Film Awards in London on November 30."

The Special Jury Prize will be disclosed on the evening of the awards.

Now in their eighth year, the British Independent Film Awards continue to grow in size and stature, filling an important niche in the UK and independent filmmaking calendar. The talent and achievements of these independent filmmakers will be celebrated at the ceremony.

This year's BIFA jury chair is Michael Kuhn, and he is joined in the judging by Bryce Dallas Howard, Mick Audsley, Mikael Hafstrom, Anne Reid, Amanda Donohoe, Sue Latimer, Uberto Pasolini, Hugh Hudson, and Ashley Walters.

In announcing the nominations, BIFA and Raindance founder Elliott Grove said:

"Another year almost at an end, another set of obituaries about British independent cinema on TV or in the newspapers. Where does the truth lie? We like to think the answer can be found in the nominations for this year's British Independent Film Awards. Take a look at the list, which ranges from classic genre pieces through comedy drama to a romantic and political thriller. It is, by anyone's standards, a very powerful year for British cinema.

"We are particularly proud to be presenting, for the second year, the Raindance Award, honouring exceptional achievement by filmmakers working on very low budgets and against the odds. That's the Raindance spirit, and we're thrilled to bring the work of these filmmakers to the attention of a wider public."

Full Listing of Nominations Follows.

Editor's notes:

BIFA - a film is eligible for consideration if:

*it is intended for theatrical release, and has had a public screening to a paying audience either on general release in the UK or at a British-based film festival between 1st October 2004 and 30th November 2005.
*it is not solely funded by a single studio.
*it has been produced or majority co-produced by a British company or is in receipt of at least 51% of its budget from a British source or sources or it qualifies as a British Film under the DCMS guidelines *When the majority of finance has come from a British source the film must also include sufficient creative elements from the UK *BIFA also consider foreign independent films for the Best Foreign Independent Film category

All films submitted for consideration are viewed by the Advisory Committee with the help of a nominated screening committee. The committee then decide the nominations by ballot.

For further information, please contact:
Phil Symes/Emma Greenwood @ The PR Contact Ltd.
Tel: 020 7323 1200 / Fax: 020 7323 1070
For updated news, check out the BIFA website on:

Nominees for the 8th Annual British Independent Film Awards 2005 Winners to be announced during the evening of Wednesday 30 November 2005 at Hammersmith Palais, London W6

Best British Independent Film
1. A Cock & Bull Story
2. The Constant Gardener
3. The Descent
4. The Libertine
5. Mrs Henderson Presents
Best Actor
1. Ralph Fiennes - The Constant Gardener
2. Matthew MacFadyen - In My Father's Den
3. Chiwetel Ejiofor - Kinky Boots
4. Johnny Depp - The Libertine
5. Bob Hoskins - Mrs Henderson Presents
Best Actress
1. Natasha Richardson - Asylum
2. Rachel Weisz - The Constant Gardener
3. Judi Dench - Mrs Henderson Presents
4. Emily Watson - Wah-Wah
5. Joan Allen - Yes
Best Supporting Actor/Actress
1. Rob Brydon - A Cock & Bull Story
2. Bill Nighy - The Constant Gardener
3. Rosamund Pike - The Libertine
4. Tom Hollander - The Libertine
5. Kelly Reilly - Mrs Henderson Presents
Most Promising Newcomer
1. Thelma Barlow - Mrs Henderson Presents
2. Alex Nathan Etel - Millions
3. Emily Barclay - In My Father's Den
4. Samina Awan - Love + Hate
5. Rupert Friend - The Libertine
Best Director
Sponsored by The Creative Partnership
1. Michael Winterbottom - A Cock & Bull
2. Fernando Meirelles - The Constant
3. Neil Marshall - The Descent
4. Laurence Dunmore - The Libertine
5. Stephen Frears - Mrs Henderson Presents
Best Screenplay
Sponsored by BBC Films
1. Martin Hardy (screenplay based on Laurence Sterne's novel) - A Cock & Bull Story 2. Jeffrey Caine (screenplay based on John Le Carré's novel) - The Constant Gardener 3. Geoff Dean & Tim Firth - Kinky Boots 4. Frank Cotrell Boyce - Millions 5. Martin Sherman - Mrs Henderson Presents Douglas Hickox Award (Debut Director) Sponsored by Cineworld 1. Annie Griffin - Festival 2. Julian Jarrold - Kinky Boots 3. Laurence Dunmore - The Libertine 4. Gaby Dellal - On A Clear Day 5. Richard E Grant - Wah-Wah Best Technical Achievement 1. Peter Christelis, Editing - A Cock & Bull Story 2. César Charlone, Cinematography - The Constant Gardener 3. John Harris, Editing - The Descent 4. Sandy Powell, Wardrobe - Mrs Henderson Presents 5. Ben Van Os, Production Design - The Libertine Best Achievement in Production Sponsored by Recorded Picture Company 1. The Business 2. Guy X 3. Gypo! 4. It's All Gone Pete Tong 5. Song of Songs Best Foreign Film 1. Broken Flowers 2. Crash 3. Downfall 4. Sequestro Express 5. The Woodsman Best Documentary Sponsored by Bloomberg 1. Andrew & Jeremy Get Married 2. Black Sun 3. Liberace of Baghdad 4. McLibel 5. Sisters In Law The Raindance Award 1. Billy Childish is Dead 2. Sam Jackson's Secret Video Diary 3. Evil Aliens The Variety UK Personality of the Year Keira Knightley

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