Slumdog, Hunger dominate BIFAs
by Naman Ramachandran
01/12/2008 - In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks on Mumbai, it was only appropriate that Danny Boyle’s paean to the city, Slumdog Millionaire [trailer, film focus], won three major awards at the 11th annual British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), held November 30.
Slumdog took home awards for Best British Independent Film, Best Director and Most Promising Newcomer for Dev Patel.
Hunger [trailer, film focus], the other critical darling of the year, also won big with Steve McQueen winning the Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director, Michael Fassbender winning Best Actor and Sean Bobbit winning Best Technical Achievement – Cinematography.
Vera Farmiga won Best Actress for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas [trailer] while Alexis Zegerman and Eddie Marsan won Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor respectively for Happy-Go-Lucky [trailer].
David Thewlis won the Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film while Joe Dunton won the Special Jury Prize.
Man on Wire [trailer] won Best Documentary, Waltz with Bashir [trailer] Best Foreign Film and Soft Best British Short, while The Raindance Award went to Zebra Crossings with The Escapist [trailer] winning Best Achievement in Production.
BIFA co-directors Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson said, “It’s been another stellar year for independent film in Britain. The diverse range of films nominated showcases an astounding line-up of talent both new and established that demands to be celebrated.”
UK Film Council CEO John Woodward said, “Over the years these awards have developed a great knack for discovering exciting new talent and promoting them to a wider film world, consequently championing British independent film excellence and originality.”