After Love wins six awards including Best British Independent Film

Adeel Akhtar named Best Actor for Ali & Ava

Flee wins Best International Independent Film

Sunday 5th December: Live at Old Billingsgate, this year’s host Asim Chaudhry presided over the 2021 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) where winners were announced live by stars of the film industry.

The award for Best British Independent Film, presented by Kate Beckinsale, went to After Love, Aleem Khan’s moving directorial debut in which a recently widowed woman comes to terms with a shocking secret about her husband’s life. Aleem Khan won three further BIFA awards – Best Director, The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director and Best Screenplay sponsored by BBC Film, with Joanna Scanlan taking home Best Actress and Talid Ariss Best Supporting Actor for their performances in the film.

Adeel Akhtar was awarded Best Actor for his role in Clio Barnard’s tender story of forbidden love, Ali & Ava, which also saw Connie Farr and Harry Escott scoring the Best Music sponsored by Universal Music Publishing BIFA.

The Best Supporting Actress award went to Vinette Robinson for her work in Philip Barantini’s multi-BIFA nominated single-take restaurant kitchen drama Boiling Point. Boiling Point also received awards for Carolyn McCleod for Best Casting sponsored by Casting Society and Spotlight; Matthew Lewis for Best Cinematography sponsored by Dirty Looks & Kodak and James Drake, Rob Entwistle and Kiff McManus for Best Sound supported by Halo.

Breakthrough Performance went to Nell Barlow, star of Marley Morrison’s British holiday park set coming-of-age debut Sweetheart, which also won the Breakthrough Producer sponsored by Pinewood Studio Group for Michelle Antoniades.

Cathy Brady won Best Debut Screenwriter sponsored by Film4 for Wildfire, which follows two sisters from Northern Ireland reconnecting with each other and their past.

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché, Paul Sng and Celeste Bell’s intimate film about the titular punk icon and X-ray Spex frontwoman, claimed both Best Documentary sponsored by Intermission and The Raindance Discovery Award.

Best British Short Film went to FEMME, in which a night out takes a dark turn for a femme gay man.

Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, the animated real-life story of a childhood refugee’s hidden past, won Best International Independent Film sponsored by Champagne Taittinger, this category was won by Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland in 2020.

The Souvenir Part II, Joanna Hogg’s follow up to her critically acclaimed feature The Souvenir was awarded three craft awards, Best Costume Design for Grace Snell, Best Editing for Helle Le Fevre and Best Production Design for Stéphane Collonge, all three were nominated for The Souvenir in 2019.

Best Effects was taken by Mike Knights, Steven Bray Dan Martin and Leigh Cranston for their work on Rob Savage’s Road trip horror Dashcam and Vickie Lang, Kristyan Mallet and Donald McInnes were awarded the Best Make Up & Hair Design BIFA for Will Sharpe’s period biopic The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film was presented to Riz Ahmed.

The Special Jury Prize, awarded by the BIFA Main Jury, which this year included Jennifer Ehle, Alice Lowe, Emma Corrin and Bennet McGhee, was given to Raising Films, the groundbreaking organisation which supports and campaigns for parents and carers working in the UK screen sector.

Boiling Point won 4 awards

Adeel Akhtar named Best Actor for Ali & Ava