BAFTA Scotland Awards: Karen Pirie star Lauren Lyle, Aftersun and Mayflies claim top honours
Rising stars Lewis Gribben and Lucy Halliday won best actor and actress awards at the glittering ceremony.
Also honoured were Mayflies, the acclaimed TV adaptation of the Andrew O’Hagan novel, about two lifelong friends forced to confront the reality of a cancer diagnosis, and My Old School, the documentary on the imposter who managed to enroll at his old school in Scotland despite being in his thirties.
Shirley Henderson, a star of the Trainspotting, Harry Potter and Bridget Jones movies, was honoured with an outstanding achievement award in recognition of a screen career going back more than 30 years.
Glasgow actor Gribben was named best TV actor of Succession star Brian Cox and Mayflies actor Tony Curran for his lead role in the poignant Channel 4 drama Somewhere Boy, about a teenager who has been isolated from the outside world by his father.
Halliday, from Paisley, was recognised as best film actress for her role in 1980s-set queer identity drama Blue Jean.
Edinburgh-born filmmaker Charlotte Wells won both the best fiction director and best film/TV writer awards for debut feature Aftersun, while star Paul Mescal won the best film actor award.
However its young star, West Lothian actress Frankie Corio, lost out in the best female actress category to Halliday.
Winners, writer-director Hassan Nazer’s feature, which was produced by Scottish filmmaker Nadira Murray and focused on about two Iranian boys who find a precious statue, was named best film.
Halliday, who started out performing in youth theatre in her native Paisley, had decided to give up her dream of acting in favour of working in medicine, but landed her first screen role as one of the main characters in Blue Jean after spotting an Instagram post about an audition.
She said: “A few of my friends had gone for it so I decided to send an email. They got back to me a couple of days later to tell me I could audition, I got to do a chemistry read with Rosy (McEwan) and a week later we were filming.
"It’s so exciting to win this. I can’t really explain it. The film isn’t a Scottish film and wasn’t filmed in Scotland, but Scotland is my home so to bring something that I loved doing so much back to Scotland has been lovely.”
Gribben, who has autism and Asperger’s syndrome, who got his first screen break with a cameo role in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting sequel T2 and went on to star alongside James Cosmo, Eddie Izzard and Kate Dickie in the Highlands-set comedy Get Duked, dedicated his award to anyone in the industry who felt like an “outsider.”
Gribben, who studied acting in Edinburgh, said: “Some people just feel that they don’t feel into the industry. When I was at college, some of the kids doing drama were very popular, cool and charismatic.
"I was never like that. I was very shy and weird, and was always doing little voices and stuff like that.
“I got my first agent Ruth (Hollyman) before I started my course and she was always very encouraging. When I was having a tough time with certain classes or assessments she was a firm believer in me, as my parents were.”
Wells, who was a largely unknown filmmaker until Aftersun premiered at Cannes in May 2022, has already won a UK BAFTA for best outstanding debut for the father-daughter drama.
She said: “I started writing Aftersun back in 2015. It was my first film and I worked on it so single-mindedly with such a close group of people.
“We hadn’t really shared it prior to its screening at Cannes. The reaction there was the biggest surprise and everything from there has just been absolutely unreal.
"The beauty and naivety of it being my first film was that I didn’t really know what was possible or what might lie ahead. It was just about taking it one day at a time and one screening at a time."In a lot of ways, I have become closer to Paul and Frankie since we made the film.”
Lyle, who previously starred in Outlander, said: “It’s been absolutely unreal playing Karen Pirie. It’s definitely changed my life.
"It’s very different having your own show, and your character being the face of the show and the name of the show.
"There was a lot of pressure, but it’s been really well received and we’ve got a second series. There are also seven books now, so we’ll just keep making them if we can.
"Sometimes it can be nerve-wracking because you don’t want to be locked into something, but it’s really worth it when the writing is so good.
"Val had to sign everything off in the series and I was really nervous that my Methil accent was going to be okay. But she was really pleased with it. Val has been really, really supportive. We’ve stayed in touch a lot."
Mayflies, which was adapted from O’Hagan’s novel by screenwriter Andrea Gibb, was named best scripted TV production.
Curran said: "It obviously had a very intense storyline. The reaction was quite overwhelming. A lot of my friends didn’t want to watch it and actually still haven’t watched it.
“Andrew O’Hagan’s novel is powerful and moving. After we sat down and did the read through with him we chatted with him about how it is basically about his life. His great friend was Tully and he was Jimmy so obviously there was no pressure to come up with the goods.
"I went to a Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow and if it wasn’t for them I don’t know if I could have immersed myself in the character as much as I did. Talking to people who were terminally ill would just make you very humble.
"I think it also helped that Martin and I had worked together on Red Road years ago. Hitting the ground running was so important because Tully and Jimmy were such great friends.
"I don’t think there’s anyone that cancer hasn’t touched. My father Edward died when I was 27 when he was only 63 years old. As an actor, of course you tap into those kind things.”
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.