Saint Maud leads the list of nominations for the 2020 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), announced this morning by British actors Holliday Grainger and Micheal Ward. The nominations reveal a wealth of new UK filmmaking talent, with a strong showing for first-time filmmakers across the board; they also showcase the diversity of talent working in the UK, with female directors and filmmakers and performers of colour well represented in many categories. Saint Maud will be taking on Remi Weekes’ His House, which has 16 nominations across the Director, Screenplay, debut and technical categories. Weaving the real-life horrors faced by asylum seekers with terrors altogether more supernatural, Weekes’ powerful debut also received nominations in Best Actress and Best Actor for Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù.
Rose Glass’ sharp and smart psychological horror, a chilling hit with audiences on release in October, is nominated for Best British Independent Film, Best Screenplay sponsored by BBC Film and Best Director, as well as in the debut categories: Breakthrough Producer, Debut Director and Debut Screenwriter sponsored by Film4. Morfydd Clark is nominated for Best Actress and Jennifer Ehle for Supporting Actress. The film also features heavily in the technical categories with nominations for Best Casting sponsored by Casting Society of America & Spotlight, Best Cinematography sponsored by Dirty Looks, Best Costume Design, Best Editing sponsored by Intermission Film, Best Make Up & Hair Design, Best Production Design sponsored by Studio Juice, Best Sound and Best Effects.
Rocks, Sarah Gavron and Anu Henrique’s fresh, poignant and genuinely uplifting take on life as a marginalised British teen has 15 nominations, including double nominations for stars Bukky Bakray and Kosar Ali in Best Actress and Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer. D’angleou Osei Kissiedu is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Director Nick Rowland and producer Daniel Emmerson’s first feature Calm With Horses has 10 nominations in the debut categories as well as recognition for performers Cosmo Jarvis (Best Actor), Niamh Algar (Best Supporting Actress, Most Promising Newcomer) and Barry Keoghan (Best Supporting Actor) and for casting director Shaheen Baig.
Florian Zeller’s The Father completes the Best British Independent Film line up. The film has six nominations in total, including a first BIFA nomination for Anthony Hopkins for his portrayal of the titular Father, a man struggling – quite literally – with the realities of the changing circumstances ageing brings.
Riz Ahmed has four BIFA nominations this year: as Best Actor, Debut Screenwriter and Best Screenplay for Mogul Mowgli and also for The Long Goodbye, a short film which he wrote and starred in. Riz’s Mogul Mowgli co-star Alyy Khan is also recognised in the Supporting Actor category.
Andrea Riseborough is nominated for Best Actress for her performance as a British aid worker haunted by past choices in Luxor; Clare Dunne is nominated for her performance in Herself, which she also co-wrote.
Debut Director Henry Blake is nominated for County Lines, alongside lead actor Conrad Khan, nominated for Most Promising Newcomer, and supporting actors Ashley Madekwe and Harris Dickinson.
Frankie Box is named a Most Promising Newcomer for her role in Perfect 10. Eva Riley is nominated for Best Debut Director and the film is nominated for The Raindance Discovery Award.
Amongst four nominations for the film, Amir El-Masry is nominated for Best Actor for Limbo.
Merab Ninindze is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in cold war thriller The Courier opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Richard Harris Award, introduced in 2002 in honour of Richard Harris, recognises outstanding contribution to British Film by an actor. Previous winners have been Daniel Day Lewis, Julie Walters, John Hurt, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench and Kristin Scott Thomas in 2019. This year’s recipient will be announced in January. Winners will be announced in early February