British Independent Film Awards: Scots share glory

James McAvoy arrives at the British Independent Film Awards. Picture: AP
James McAvoy arrives at the British Independent Film Awards. Picture: AP
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SCOTLAND’s movie industry shared in the glory at the British Independent Film Awards last night with three films winning top accolades at the prestigious ceremony.

James McAvoy won best actor for his performance as a bigoted, drug addicted policeman in Filth, while For Those In Peril director Paul Wright from Fife was awarded best debut director.

Ben Mendelsohn also won best supporting actor for his role in Glasgow director David Mackenzie’s gritty father-and-son prison drama Starred Up.

Other winners in the 16th Moet British Independent Film Awards, (Bifa) which were held at Old Billingsgate Market in London last night, included crime drama Metro Manila, which picked up three trophies for Best Achievement in Production as well as Best British Independent Film and Best Director for Sam Ellis.

At the star-studded ceremony hosted by actor James Nesbitt, Lindsay Duncan won Best ­Actress for Le Week-End and Imogen Poots collected her Bifa for Best Supporting Actress for The Look of Love.

Julie Walters was awarded the coveted Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film, and Paul Greengrass the Variety Award, which recognises an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to shine the international spotlight on the UK.

The Special Jury Prize went to Sixteen Films, a film production company formed by director Ken Loach and producer ­Rebecca O’Brien.

Speaking about his role in Filth, the latest film adaption of an Irvine Welsh novel, ­McAvoy said he was as proud of his performance as a corrupt Edinburgh detective as anything else in his career.

The Glasgow-born actor said he believed his performance was “right up there” with his role in Atonement alongside Keira Knightley.

The 34-year-old, who is best known for his roles in Atonement, The Last King of Scotland and the first Chronicles of Narnia film, said as soon as he read the script he knew he wanted to play the character.

He added: “It’s inspiring to have so many ideas in your head on the first reading and to think, ‘thank Christ there’s something out there that’s really bold and brave and not afraid about the fact it is potentially controversial or ­offensive’. The other thing I’m really proud of is we got the film made and it exists.”

The second Scottish film recognised in the Bifa’s last night, For Those in Peril, explores the impact of a fishing tragedy on a close-knit community in the north-east of Scotland.

The movie was last month named best film at the Bafta Scotland ceremony in Glasgow.

Director Wright, who is already working on his follow-up which will be a “strange love story”, said: “I actually grew up in a very similar village in Fife to the one in the film, although it is not set in a particular location.”

Starred Up recently won widespread acclaim at the Toronto and London film festivals.


Best International Independent Film - Blue is the Warmest Colour

The Raindance Award - The Machine

Most Promising Newcomer - Chloe Pirrie for The Shell

Best British Short - Z1

Best Supporting Actor - Ben Mendelsohn for Starred Up

Special Jury Prize - Sixteen Films and Friends

Best Technical Achievement - Amy Hubbard for casting on The Selfish Giant

Best Supporting Actress - Imogen Poots for The Look of Love

Best Achievement in Production - Metro Manila

Best British Documentary - Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

The Variety Award - Paul Greengrass

Best Actor - James McAvoy

Best Screenplay - Steven Knight - Locke

The Douglas Hickox Award - Paul Wright for For Those in Peril

Best Actress - Lindsay Duncan for Le Week-end

Best Director - Sean Ellis for Metro Manila

Richard Harris Award - Julie Walters

Best British Independent Film - Metro Manila