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BIFA British Independent Film Awards: a disapointed Queen

Wednesday, 29th November saw stars and leading figures of the British film industry turn up to celebrate the British Independent Film Awards at Hammersmith Palais, London.

In its ninth year, the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) have established themselves as one of the most important awards ceremonies in the British film industry and are regarded as the kick-off to the Awards Season. The BIFAs celebrate the best of British talent, including Helen Mirren who is this year's Variety UK Film Achievement Award recipient.

The winners are as follows:

BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM - SPONSORED BY THE UK FILM COUNCIL
This is England

BEST DIRECTOR - SPONSORED BY THE CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP
Kevin Macdonald - The Last King of Scotland

BEST ACTOR
Tony Curran - Red Road

BEST ACTRESS - SPONSORED BY M.A.C
Kate Dickie - Red Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR / ACTRESS
Leslie Phillips - Venus

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER (ON SCREEN) - SPONSORED BY DIESEL
Thomas Turgoose - This is England

BEST SCREENPLAY - SPONSORED BY BBC FILMS
Peter Morgan - The Queen

BEST FOREIGN INDEPENDENT FILM
Hidden [Caché]

THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD - (BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR)
Menhaj Huda - Kidulthood

BEST BRITISH DOCUMENTARY
The Road to Guantanamo

BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT - SPONSORED BY SKILLSET
Anthony Dod Mantle - Cinematography - The Last King of Scotland

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION - SPONSORED BY RECORDED PICTURE COMPANY
London to Brighton

BEST BRITISH SHORT
Cubs

THE RAINDANCE AWARD - SPONSORED BY RAINDANCE
The Ballad of AJ Weberman

BEST 15 SECOND SHORT - SPONSORED BY NOKIA
What's the Point?

SPECIAL AWARDS

THE VARIETY UK FILM ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - Helen Mirren

THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO BRITISH FILM BY AN ACTOR) - SPONSORED BY BUENA VISTA INTERNATIONAL - Jim Broadbent

THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE - Ken Loach

This year's jury, which is chaired by Sandy Lieberson, consists of Reuben Barnes, Martin Childs, Anne V Coates, Alan Cumming, Leo Davis, Anna Friel, Jason Isaacs, Mick Jones, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory, Damien O'Donnell, Kelly Reilly, Martin Sherman and Colin Salmon.

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, the major funding partner of the BIFAs says: "We are proud to be supporting the BIFAs which are a great champion for the British film industry, and for excellence and originality in independent filmmaking. This year's nominations and award winners highlight the outstanding talent working in the UK with established and emerging talent both producing films which are not only winning critical acclaim and attracting cinema-goers alike. "

The British Independent Film Awards, created by Raindance, are now under the newly appointed directorship of Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, who have jointly been involved with the running of the Awards since its inception in 1998. They say, "We are really excited that the BIFAs are now regarded as the kick-off to the international awards season which culminates in the BAFTAs and Academy Awards in the Spring. The BIFAs also have a real purpose to promote British Independent film talent to an ever growing audience worldwide." Founder Elliot Grove is delighted with the progress that BIFA has made and more than happy with its two new directors. "I am proud to have created the only true indigenous independent film awards in Britain back in 1998. The time is now right for BIFA to stand on its own and grow under the capable hands of Johanna and Tessa who between them have worked with me since the beginning". Elliot Grove

Patrons of BIFA include Tilda Swinton, Ray Winstone, Mike Figgis, Tom Hollander, Adrian Lester, Ken Loach, Ewan McGregor, Samantha Morton, Bill Nighy, Trudie Styler, Meera Syal and Michael Winterbottom.

A film will be eligible for an Award 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 December 2005 and 30th November 2006.

• It is not solely funded by a single studio OR has a budget of £8M ($15M) or less.

• 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. Foreign films must have a theatrical release during the eligibility period stated above.

• Films that have been entered previously are not eligible. Inclusion and consideration of films that do not strictly comply with the above criteria will be subject to the discretion of the British Independent Film Awards Advisory Committee. All films submitted for consideration are viewed by the Advisory Committee with the help of a nominated screening panel. The Advisory Committee then decide the nominations by ballot. All nominated films are then viewed by the Jury. For more information on BIFA rules please go to www.bifa.org.uk. For further information, please contact Thomas Bunn or Nick Rogers at Mission on 020 7491 6680 or email nick@mission-media.co.uk

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