American Honey won big at last night’s British Independent Film Awards (BIFA’s). Taking, Best British Indpendent Film, Best Director for Andrea Arnold, Best ‘breakthrough’ Actress to the phenomenal lead Sasha Lane and Outstanding Craft – cinematography, to Robbie Ryan.

Moonlight was awarded Best International Independent Film with director Barry Jenkins in town to pick it up. The category is the only one open to films outside of the UK.

American Honey, tells the story of a teenage girl Star (Sasha Lane) with nothing to lose, joins a travelling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits. Sasha Lane also picked up the Best ‘breakthrough’ Actress. Lane’s performance as the focus of the coming of age tale, has been critically acclaimed. American Honey was her feature debut. She is of mixed heritage African American and New Zealand.

Moonlight is described as a timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. It stars Naomie Harris, Marhershala Ali, Janelle Monae and Trevante Rhodes. Naomie Harris who also picked up a Variety Award at the ceremony was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in My Kind of Traitor opposite Ewan McGregor. In Moonlight Naomie stars as a desperate drug addicted mother.

Also nominated were Arinze Kene, in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in, The Pass, Dionne Walker was nominated in the Breakthrough Producer category for her work with Mark Duggan documentary, The Hard Stop, which was also nominated in the Best Documentary category.

The awards took place at Billingsgate Market and were hosted by comedienne Jennifer Saunders.

See full winners’ list:

  • Best British Independent FilmAmerican Honey, dir: Andrea Arnold
  • Best Director – Andrea Arnold, American Honey
  • Best Actor – Dave Johns, I, Daniel Blake
  • Best Actress – Sasha Lane, American Honey
  • Best Screenplay – Babak Anvari, Under The Shadow
  • Best DocumentaryNotes On Blindness, dir: Peter Middleton
  • Best Supporting Actress – Avin Manshadi, Under The Shadow
  • Best Supporting Actor – Brett Goldstein, Adult Life Skills
  • Discovery AwardThe Greasy Strangler: Jim Hosking, Toby Harvard, Daniel Noah, Andrew Starke, Ant Timpson, Josh C Waller, Elijah Wood
  • Best Debut Screenwriter – Rachel Tunnard, Adult Life Skills
  • Best International Independent FilmMoonlight, dir: Barry Jenkins
  • The Douglas Hickox Award (Debut Director) – Babak Anvari, Under The Shadow
  • Outstanding Achievement in Craft – Robbie Ryan: Cinematography, American Honey
  • Breakthrough Producer – Camille Gatin: The Girl With All The Gifts
  • Most Promising Newcomer – Hayley Squires: I, Daniel Blake
  • Best British ShortJacked: Rene Pannevis, Ashish Ghadiali, Jennifer Eriksson