British Independent Film Awards: Charlotte Wells‘ ’Aftersun’ Wins 7 Honors, Including Best Film

British Independent Film Awards: Charlotte Wells‘ ’Aftersun’ Wins 7 Honors, Including Best Film

Charlotte Wells’ debut feature Aftersun, starring Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio, was the big winner at this year’s British Independent Film Awards in London, earning seven honors from 16 nominations.

The drama about a father and daughter’s complex relationship won the awards for best British independent film, presented by Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People, Where the Crawdads Sing), best director, best debut director and best screenplay on Sunday night.

The film, which became a breakout hit in Cannes, where it was nabbed by A24 and Mubi, previously also won three craft awards: in the best cinematography category for Gregory Oke, for best editing for Blair McClendon and in the best music supervision category, a new honor introduced this year, for Lucy Bright.

Georgia Oakley’s debut film Blue Jean, about a young teacher forced to lead a double life, earned 13 nominations and four BIFAs. They went to Rosy McEwen for best lead performance, Kerrie Hayes for best supporting performance, Oakley for best debut screenwriter, as well as the previously announced best casting honor for Shaheen Baig.

The other, now gender-neutral acting or performance awards went to Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance for best joint lead performance for their roles in The Silent Twins, about real-life siblings who communicated only with each other; Safia Oakley-Green for the breakthrough performance honor for The Origin; as well as Our River…Our Sky cast members, including Zainab Joda, Darina Al Joundi, Amed Hashimi, Mahmoud Abo Al Abbas, Basim Hajar, Labwa Arab, Meriam Abbas and Siham Mustafa, for best ensemble for their work in the story of neighbors caught in Baghdad during the civil war of 2006.

Other nominees in the various performance categories included the likes of Florence Pugh (The Wonder), Emma Mackey (Emily), Mescal (best joint lead performance for Aftersun and best supporting performance for God’s Creatures), Bill Nighy (Living), Emily Watson (God’s Creatures) and Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande).

The big winner in the documentary awards categories was Nothing Compares, the story of singer Sinéad O’Connor, which won both the best feature documentary honor and the best debut director – feature documentary trophy for Kathryn Ferguson.

Meanwhile, the BIFA for best international independent film went to Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World. After receiving the award from Pugh, the director urged everyone not to believe the naysayers arguing that independent film was dying.

Organizers highlighted after the nominations that it was “a strong year for women filmmakers and performers,” adding: “Women dominate performance, writing and directing categories.”

As previously announced, Samantha Morton (Jane Eyre, In America, Minority Report, The Walking Dead) was presented with this year’s honor for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film.

The Special Jury Prize, decided on by the BIFA main jury and presented by Jenna Coleman, was awarded to the organization Open Door for its work “helping talented young people without financial support or resources gain places at leading U.K. drama schools.”

Sunday’s BIFAs ceremony at its traditional home of Old Billingsgate in London was hosted by Ben Bailey Smith (Amazon’s Cinderella).

“I belong here with you, you cool people,” producer Nadira Murray (Winners) said in accepting her second honor of the night, earning cheers and much applause.

Fellow double BIFA winner Ferguson also drew much applause when she told the crowd about the Irish singer who is the focus of her honored doc: “There need to be a million more Sinéads out there in the world right now.”

Morton dedicated her award to director Lynne Ramsay who directed her in Morvern Callar.

See the full list of BIFA winners below:

Best British Independent Film
Aftersun Charlotte Wells, Barry Jenkins, Mark Ceryak, Adele Romanski, Amy Jackson (WINNER)
Blue Jean Georgia Oakley, Hélène Sifre
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande Sophie Hyde, Katy Brand, Debbie Gray, Adrian Politowski
Living Oliver Hermanus, Kazuo Ishiguro, Stephen Woolley, Elizabeth Karlsen
The Wonder Sebastián Lelio, Emma Donoghue, Alice Birch, Juliette Howell, Andrew Lowe, Tessa Ross, Ed Guiney

Best Director, sponsored by Sky Cinema
Oliver Hermanus Living
Sophie Hyde Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Sebastian Lelio The Wonder
Georgia Oakley Blue Jean
Charlotte Wells Aftersun (WINNER)

Best Screenplay
Katy Brand Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Kazuo Ishiguro Living
Sebastian Lelio, Alice Birch, Emma Donoghue The Wonder
Georgia Oakley Blue Jean
Charlotte Wells Aftersun (WINNER)

Best Lead Performance
Sally Hawkins The Lost King
Cosmo Jarvis It Is in Us All
Emma Mackey Emily
Rosy McEwen Blue Jean (WINNER)
Bill Nighy Living
Florence Pugh The Wonder
Emily Watson God’s Creatures
Hala Zein Nezouh

Best Supporting Performance
Zoey Deutch The Outfit
Aisling Franciosi God’s Creatures
Lucy Halliday Blue Jean
Kerrie Hayes Blue Jean (WINNER)
Zainab Joda Our River…Our Sky
Fatma Mohamed Flux Gourmet
Paul Mescal God’s Creatures
Fionn Whitehead Emily
Aimee Lou Wood Living

Best Joint Lead Performance
Frankie Corio, Paul Mescal Aftersun
Daryl McCormack, Emma Thompson Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear Men
Tamara Lawrance, Letitia Wright The Silent Twins (WINNER)

Best Ensemble Performance
Blue Jean Ensemble including Rosy McEwen, Kerrie Hayes, Lucy Halliday, Lydia Page, Stacy Abalogun, Farrah Cave, Amy Booth-Steel
Emily Ensemble including Amelia Gething, Emma Mackey, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Fionn Whitehead, Alexandra Dowling, Gemma Jones, Adrian Dunbar
Flux Gourmet Ensemble including Makis Papadimitriou, Gwendoline Christie, Asa Butterfield, Fatma Mohamed, Ariane Labed, Richard Bremmer
Our River…Our Sky Ensemble including Zainab Joda, Darina Al Joundi, Amed Hashimi, Mahmoud Abo Al Abbas, Basim Hajar, Labwa Arab, Meriam Abbas, Siham Mustafa (WINNER)
The Wonder Ensemble including Kíla Lord Cassidy, Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Toby Jones, Niamh Algar, Elaine Cassidy, Ciarán Hinds, Brían F. O’Byrne, Josie Walker

Breakthrough Performance, sponsored by Netflix
Frankie Corio Aftersun
Leo Long I Used to Be Famous
Kila Lord Cassidy The Wonder
Rosy McEwen Blue Jean
Safia Oakley-Green The Origin (WINNER)

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director), sponsored by BBC Film
Andrew Cumming The Origin
Thomas Hardiman Medusa Deluxe
Frances O’Connor Emily
Georgia Oakley Blue Jean
Charlotte Wells Aftersun (WINNER)

Breakthrough Producer, sponsored by Pinewood and Shepperton Studios
Aleksandra Bilic, Jennifer Corcoran Nascondino [Hide & Seek]
Paul Kennedy Nightride [also produced by Jon Silk]
Rupert Majendie Brian and Charles
Nadira Murray Winners [also produced by Paul Welsh] (WINNER)
Helene Sifre Blue Jean

Best Debut Screenwriter, sponsored by Film4
Shane Crowley God’s Creatures
David Earl, Chris Hayward Brian and Charles
Ruth Greenberg The Origin
Georgia Oakley Blue Jean (WINNER)
Charlotte Wells Aftersun

Best Debut Director – Feature Documentary
Kathryn Ferguson Nothing Compares (WINNER)
Victoria Fiore Nascondino [Hide & Seek]
Leah Gordon, Eddie Hutton Mills Kanaval
Jono McLeod My Old School
Becky Hutner Fashion Reimagined

The Raindance Discovery Award
Electric Malady Marie Lidén, Aimara Reques
Fadia’s Tree Sarah Beddington, Susan Simnett
Off the Rails Peter Day, Grant Keir, Rob Alexander
Rebellion Elena Sánchez Bellot, Maia Kenworthy, Kat Mansoor
Winners Hassan Nazer, Nadira Murray, Paul Welsh (WINNER)

Best Feature Documentary, sponsored by Intermission
My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan Phil Grabsky, Shoaib Sharifi, Amanda Wilkie
My Old School Jono McLeod, John Archer, Olivia Lichtenstein
Nascondino [Hide & Seek] Victoria Fiore, Jennifer Corcoran, Aleksandra Bilić
Nothing Compares Kathryn Ferguson, Eleanor Emptage, Michael Mallie (WINNER)
Young Plato Neasa Ní Chianáin, Declan McGrath, David Rane

Best British Short Film, supported by BFI Network
A Fox in the Night Keeran Anwar Blessie, Benjamin Jacob Smith
Honesty Roxy Rezvany, Emily Renée, Elly Camisa
Sandstorm Seemab Gul, Abid Aziz Merchant
Scale Joseph Pierce, Hélène Mitjavile
Too Rough Sean Lìonadh, Ross McKenzie, Alfredo Covelli (WINNER)

Best International Independent Film sponsored by Champagne Taittinger
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin, Yoni Golijov
Close Lukas Dhont, Angelo Tijssens, Michiel Dhont, Dirk Impens
Decision to Leave Park Chan-Wook, Chung Seo-Kyung
Everything Everywhere All at Once Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Jonathan Wang, Joe Russo, Anthony Russo, Mike Larocca
The Worst Person in the World Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt, Andrea Berentsen Ottmar, Thomas Robsahm (WINNER)

Best Casting, sponsored by Casting Society & Spotlight
Shaheen Baig Blue Jean (WINNER)
Leila Bertrand Our River…Our Sky
Kharmel Cochrane The Silent Twins
Kahleen Crawford Living
Lucy Pardee Aftersun

Best Cinematography, sponsored by Dirty Looks & Kodak
Alfredo De Juan Nascondino [Hide & Seek]
Rob Hardy Men
Joel Honeywell Kanaval
Gregory Oke Aftersun (WINNER)
Ari Wegner The Wonder

Best Costume Design
Jenny Beavan Mrs Harris Goes to Paris (WINNER)
Saffron Cullane Flux Gourmet
Odile Dicks-Mireaux The Wonder
Frank Gallacher Aftersun
Sandy Powell Living

Best Editing
Joanna Crickmay Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts
Izabella Curry Blue Jean
Matyas Fekete Flux Gourmet
Mick Mahon Nothing Compares
Blair McClendon Aftersun (WINNER)

Best Original Music, sponsored by Universal Music Publishing
Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans God’s Creatures
Oliver Coates Aftersun
Matthew Herbert The Wonder (WINNER)
Adam Janota Bzowski The Origin
Ben Salisbury, Geoff Barrow Men

Best Makeup & Hair Design
Oya Aygor, Murat Çagin Aftersun
Morna Ferguson, Lorri Ann King The Wonder
Siobhan Harper-Ryan Flux Gourmet
Niamh Morrison The Origin
Eugene Souleiman, Scarlett O’Connell Medusa Deluxe (WINNER)

Best Effects
Chris Marshall The Feast
David Simpson Men (WINNER)
Ahmed Yousry Nezouh

Best Music Supervision
Lucy Bright Aftersun (WINNER)
Phil Canning The Phantom of the Open
Rupert Hollier Living

Best Sound, supported by Halo
Tim Harrison, Raoul Brand, Cassandra Rutledge Flux Gourmet (WINNER)
Glenn Freemantle, Ben Barker, Gillian Dodders, Howard Bargoff, Mitch Low Men
Jovan Ajder Aftersun
Hugh Fox, Ben Baird The Wonder
Dom Corbisiero, Dai Shell The Feast

Best Production Design
Fletcher Jarvis Flux Gourmet
Grant Montgomery The Wonder
Helen Scott Living (WINNER)
Billur Turan Aftersun
Gary Williamson Medusa Deluxe

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film
Samantha Morton

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