‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ was the big winner at this year’s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), taking five honours.
The movie had already scored three wins in craft categories – for casting, costume, and production design – but the London ceremony on Sunday (01.12.19) also saw Hugh Laurie pick up the Best Supporting Actor accolade for his portrayal of Mr. Dick, and Best Screenplay for Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell.
Syrian civil war documentary ‘For Sama’ was another big winner, taking four honours, including the night’s biggest prize, Best British Independent Film.
Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts were named Best Directors for their portrait of a young mother’s experiences during the war, and it also took Best Documentary, adding to the Best Editing accolade that had been previously announced in the craft side of the awards.
Renee Zellweger wasn’t in attendance at the ceremony – which was hosted by comedian Aisling Bea – so her Best Actress prize was collected by ‘Judy’ producer David Livingstone.
Josh O’Connor picked up the Best Actor honour for his performance as Jake in ‘Only You’, his second win in the category after having taken home the prize in 2017 in recognition of his work on ‘God’s Own Country’.
‘Only You’ helmsman Harry Wootliff was also named Best Debut Director.
‘Femi’ stars Sam Adewunmi and Ruthxjiah Bellenea won Most Promising Newcomer and Best Supporting Actress respectively.
The only non-UK award of the night, Best International Independent Film, went to Bong Joon Jo’s ‘Parasite’.
Departing British Film Institute (BFI) CEO, Amanda Nevill, was recognised with the Special Jury Prize, while Lily James presented Dame Kristin Scott Thomas with The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film.
2019 BIFA winners
The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film:
Kristin Scott Thomas
Special Jury Prize:
Best British Independent Film:
Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts (‘For Sama’)
Armando Ianucci, Simon Blackwell (‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’)
Renee Zellweger (‘Judy’)
Josh O’Connor (‘Only You’)
Best Supporting Actress:
Ruthxija Bellena (‘The Last Tree’)
Best Supporting Actor:
Hugh Laurie (‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’)
Most Promising Newcomer:
Sam Adewunmi (‘The Last Tree’)
The Douglas Hickox Award (Debut Director):
Harry Wootliff (‘Only You’)
Emma Jane Unsworth (‘Animals’)
Kate Byers, Linn Waite (‘Bait’)
The Raindance Discovery Award:
‘Children of the Snow Land’
Sarah Crowe (‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’)
Benjamin Kracun (‘Beats’)
Best Costume Design:
Suzie Harman, Robert Worley (‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’)
Chloe Lambourne, Simon McMahon (‘For Sama’)
Howard Jones (‘A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon’)
Best Make-Up & Hair Design:
Jeremy Woodhead (‘Judy’)
Jack Arnold (‘Wild Rose’)
Best Production Design:
Cristina Casali (‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’)
David Bowte-McMillan, Joakim Sundstrom, Robert Farr (‘Beats’)
Best British Short Film:
Best International Independent Film: