The 2017 British Independent Film Awards were announced at a ceremony at Old Billingsgate Market Sunday 10th December. Acknowledging the best of British independent filmmakers, British talent braved the snow to celebrate.

Rungano Nyoni’s, I Am Not a Witch took home two of the biggest awards of the night, Best Debut Director, and Best Director. The film’s producer Emily Morgan also won Breakthrough Producer. Unfortunately, however, the bad weather meant Nyoni was snowed in and unable to attend the awards in person.

Another deserved win went to Naomi Ackie, who won Most Promising Newcomer for her role as Anna, in Lady Macbeth. Because of the strength of her role, she was also nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category but lost out to Patricia Clarkson, for her role in The Party.

The only international award category, Best International Independent Film was won by Get Out, the award was accepted by its two lead stars, Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams.

The Special Jury Prize was given to Femi Oguns for his work and commitment to diversity through casting and education, with his companies Identity Drama School, and Identity Agency. Two institutions which have trained and now manage stars like John Boyega, Letitia Wright and Malachi Kirby to name but a very few.

Other films we were pleased about, were Almost Heaven which won Best Documentary. The film follows Chinese teenager,  Ying Ling who trains to become a mortician in one of China’s largest funeral homes. The Discovery Award went to the brilliant In Another Life. Set against the backdrop of the Calais Jungle, Syrian refugee Adnan battles to be reunited with his wife in the UK.

Unfortunately, in the shorts category 1745  – a film about two slaves who escape into the wilderness of 18th century Scotland, lost out to Fish – a film about a man who looks into a family story about the 1980s gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey attended exclusively by people with fish surnames.  1745 was written by and starred British-Nigerian Morayo Akandé, her sister Moyo Akandé also stars.

The British Independent Film Awards celebrated their 20th year.

See the full winners list:

  • BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM – God’s Own Country (Francis Lee, Jack Tarling, Manon Ardisson)
  • BEST DIRECTOR – Rungano Nyoni (I Am Not A Witch)
  • BEST ACTOR – Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country)
  • BEST ACTRESS – Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth)
  • BEST SCREENPLAY – Alice Birch (Lady Macbeth)
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Patricia Clarkson (The Party)
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Simon Russell Beale (The Death Of Stalin)
  • DEBUT SCREENWRITER – Francis Lee (God’s Own Country)
  • THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD (BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR) – Rungano Nyoni (I Am Not A Witch)
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY – Almost Heaven (dir: Carol Salter)
  • BREAKTHROUGH PRODUCER – Emily Morgan (I Am Not A Witch)
  • BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM – (Get Out) dir: Jordan Peele
  • BEST BRITISH SHORT FILMFish Story
  • MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER – Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth)
  • THE DISCOVERY AWARDIn Another Life (Jason Wingard, Hannah Stevenson, Rebecca Clare Evans, Chris Bouckley)
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Ari Wegner (Lady Macbeth)
  • BEST CASTING – Sarah Crowe (The Death Of Stalin)
  • BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Holly Waddington (Lady Macbeth)
  • BEST EDITING – Jon Gregory (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • BEST EFFECTS – Nick Allder, Ben White (The Ritual)
  • BEST MUSIC – Carter Burwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • BEST MAKE UP & HAIR DESIGN – Nicole Stafford (The Death Of Stalin)
  • BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Cristina Casali (The Death Of Stalin)
  • BEST SOUND – Anna Bertmark (God’s Own Country)
  • SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – Femi Oguns