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Metro Manila tops a big budget night for low budget films

A Philippine-set thriller, in the little-known language of Tagalog, has won the most awards – including the top awards – at this year’s British Independent Film Awards.

The BIFA for Best British Independent Film went to Metro Manila and the Best Director prize went the man behind it, Sean Ellis. The film was also honoured for the Best Achievement in Production.

James McAvoy won the Best Actor BIFA for Filfth

The lead-acting prizes went to Lindsay Duncan for Le Week-End and James McAvoy for Filfth. McAvoy said that the word “independent” really means “on your own.” “But tonight, we’re not on our own,” he added, at a star-studded ceremony, where nominees were treated to a plush mean including salmon, horseradish and dill rillettes, caramelised pumpkin wedges, roasted butternut squash and sage pithivier and salted caramel pannacotta.

Imogen Poots was the Best Supporting Actress for The Look of Love and Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn took the Best Supporting Actor honours for the prison drama Starred Up, which won the Best Screenplay prize at the London Film Festival but is yet to receive a theatrical release.

Starred Up and The Selfish Giant, which went into the night with the most nominations, took home only one award each.

Previously announced honours for veteran film-makers included the Richard Harris Award for an outstanding contribution by an actor, which went to Julie Walters; the Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass won the Variety Award, which recognises someone who has helped to shine the international spotlight on the UK; the Special Jury Prize went to the team that has brought the work of Ken Loach to the big screen.

The director of the BFI Film Fund, Ben Roberts, said 2013 had been a standout year for British film and the BIFAs had done a great job of spotlighting many brilliant filmmakers.

The full list of 2013 BIFA winners:

BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM

Metro Manila

BEST DIRECTOR

Sean Ellis – Metro Manila

THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR]

Paul Wright – For Those in Peril

BEST SCREENPLAY

Steven Knight – Locke 

BEST ACTRESS

Lindsay Duncan – Le Week-end 

BEST ACTOR

James McAvoy – Filth

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Imogen Poots – The Look Of Love

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Ben Mendelsohn – Starred Up

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER

Chloe Pirrie – Shell 

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION

Metro Manila 

BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT

Amy Hubbard – Casting – The Selfish Giant 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer 

BEST BRITISH SHORT

Z1

BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM

Blue is the Warmest Colour 

THE RAINDANCE AWARD

The Machine 

THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)

Julie Walters

THE VARIETY AWARD

Paul Greengrass

THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE

Sixteen Films & Friends (AKA Team Loach)


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