FOR SAMA. Waad, Hamza and Sama look at graffiti they painted on a bombed-out building, protesting against the forced exile of the civilian population of east Aleppo by forces of the Syrian regime and their Russian and Iranian allies, December 2016. Courtesy of Channel 4, Copyright Waad al-Kateab.
FOR SAMA. Waad, Hamza and Sama look at graffiti they painted on a bombed-out building, protesting against the forced exile of the civilian population of east Aleppo by forces of the Syrian regime and their Russian and Iranian allies, December 2016. Courtesy of Channel 4, Copyright Waad al-Kateab.

For Sama directed by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts was named Best British Independent Film 2019 at the 22nd British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) ceremony, becoming the first documentary to win that award.

The film, an intimate and scarring portrait of a young mother’s experience of the Syrian civil war, also won for Best Director and Best Documentary; in addition to the previously announced win for Best Editing.

The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Personal History of David Copperfield won two awards including Best Supporting Actor for Hugh Laurie, who plays Mr Dick in Armando Iannucci’s adaptation of the Dickens classic, and Best Screenplay for writers Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell. Previously announced the film won for Best Casting, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design.

Josh O’Connor’s portrayal of lovesick romantic Jake in Harry Wootliff’s debut feature Only You won him the Best Actor award – his second after 2017’s win for his role in Francis Lee’s Yorkshire-set love story God’s Own Country. The film’s director Harry Wootliff was named Best Debut Director.

Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in JUDY
Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in JUDY

Renée Zellweger won Best Actress for her performance as Judy Garland in Rupert Goold’s critically-acclaimed biopic, Judy in addition to the previously announced win for Best Make Up & Hair Design.

Sam Adewunmi was named Most Promising Newcomer for his first significant performance in a British feature film, Shola Amoo’s The Last Tree. In the film he plays Femi, a British boy of Nigerian heritage struggling to adjust to a new life in London. His co-star Ruthxjiah Bellenea received the award for Best Supporting Actress.

Writer Emma Jane Unsworth won the award for Debut Screenwriter for her big-screen adaptation of her second novel, Animals, and producers Kate Byers and Linn Waite won the Breakthrough Producer award for their film Bait.

GISAENGCHUNG (Parasite) directed by BONG Joon-Ho
GISAENGCHUNG (Parasite) directed by BONG Joon-Ho

The Raindance Discovery Award went to Children of the Snow Land; the award for Best British Short Film was presented to Dekel Berenson’s Anna and the Best International Independent Film was won by Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite.

The Special Jury Prize was presented to Amanda Nevill CBE, outgoing CEO of the British Film Institute (BFI); and Kristin Scott Thomas was presented with the 2019 Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film.

Winners of 22nd British Independent Film Awards

BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM

FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

BEST DIRECTOR

WAAD AL-KATEAB, EDWARD WATTS For Sama

BEST SCREENPLAY

ARMANDO IANNUCCI, SIMON BLACKWELL The Personal History of David Copperfield

BEST ACTRESS

RENEE ZELLWEGER Judy

BEST ACTOR

JOSH O’CONNOR Only You

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

RUTHXJIAH BELLENEA The Last Tree

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

HUGH LAURIE The Personal History of David Copperfield

THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD (DEBUT DIRECTOR)

HARRY WOOTLIFF Only You

BREAKTHROUGH PRODUCER

KATE BYERS, LINN WAITE Bait

DEBUT SCREENWRITER

EMMA JANE UNSWORTH Animals

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER

SAM ADEWUNMI The Last Tree

BEST DOCUMENTARY

FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

THE RAINDANCE DISCOVERY AWARD

CHILDREN OF THE SNOW LAND Zara Balfour, Marcus Stephenson, Mark Hakansson

BEST BRITISH SHORT FILM

ANNA Dekel Berenson, Merlin Merton, Olga Beskhmelnitsyna

BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM

PARASITE Bong Joon-ho, Jan Young-Hwan, Moon Yang-kwon, Sin-ae Kwak, Han Jin Won

BEST CASTING

SARAH CROWE The Personal History of David Copperfield

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

BENJAMIN KRACUN Beats

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

SUZIE HARMAN, ROBERT WORLEY The Personal History of David Copperfield

BEST EDITING

CHLOE LAMBOURNE, SIMON McMAHON For Sama

BEST EFFECTS

HOWARD JONES A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

BEST MAKE UP & HAIR DESIGN

JEREMY WOODHEAD Judy

BEST MUSIC

JACK ARNOLD Wild Rose

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

CRISTINA CASALI The Personal History of David Copperfield

BEST SOUND

DAVID BOWTLE-McMILLAN, JOAKIM SUNDSTRÖM, ROBERT FARR Beats

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