Scottish triumph at BIFAs
by Annika Pham
- British Independent Film Awards for Sweet Sixteen, Morvern Callar and also Greengrass' Bloody Sunday
Scottish talent and its film industry were the big winners at last night’s ceremony 5th British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) held in London’s Pacha nightclub.
Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen and Scottish director Lynne Ramsay’s Morvern Callar, both filmed in Scotland and supported by the Scottish Screen Agency, won half the awards for which they were nominated. Sweet Sixteen took the top prize: best British independent film, and its young star, Martin Compston, was the year’s most promising newcomer.
Samantha Morton won best actress for Morvan Callar and its director of photography, Alwin Kuchler won the best technical achievement nod.
Industry "bible" Variety presented Scottish actor, Ewan McGregor, with an honorary “Personality of the Year” award.
Commenting on the strong Scottish flavour of this year’s BIFA winners, Eliot Grove, founder of both the Raindance Film Festival and the BIFAs said: “We are delighted with the calibre of films this year, especially the Scottish contingent. It’s great to see that Scotland has developed a strong film industry and we are pleased that our sponsors (Park Caledonian Financial Services Group) also come from Scotland which appears to be the new hot-bed for British filmmaking”.
Bloody Sunday, the winner of a Golden Bear award at this year’s Berlinale, added two more prizes to its list of awards: Paul Greengrass won best director and James Nesbittbest actor.
Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding won the best foreign language film BIFA while Australia’s Lantana was deemed the best foreign film made in the English language.
The organisers paid tribute to Irish actor Richard Harris, who died on 25 October, by presenting a posthumous Special Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor, a category that was especially created in Harris’ honour.
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