“There you have it,” said James Nesbitt. “Writers, once again, turning up, making a great statement, dressed like tramps.” He was speaking to a constellation of industry luminaries who had descended upon east London for the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) last Sunday.
The award gala, once a lesser cousin of the BAFTAs, has come into its own, welcoming an increasing array of A-List celebrities onto the red carpet.
The night’s big winner was Duncan Jones whose first feature Moon collected Best Picture and Best Debut Director. Carey Mulligan was named Best Actress for her performance in An Education, and Katie Jarvis Won Most Promising Newcomer For Fish Tank.
Elliot Grove, founder of the awards, said: “The nominees and winners this year prove again the wealth of fresh and diverse filmmaking talent that distinguishes British independent filmmaking.”
Along with glamour the night also included gaffes aplenty. Michael Caine accepted the Variety award for lifetime achievement but failed to recognise Gemma Atherton. After receiving his award from the Bond Girl he thanked BIFA for “the young lady who presented it to me,” adding, “she’s gorgeous, isn’t she?”
Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold downed one glass too many – judging by her jumbled acceptance speech for Best Director. “I was out there … I wanted to go home. That’s a really big thing. Well, it’s a little glass thing, but it’s a big thing. Whoever kind of said that I should get it, thank you.”
Anne-Marie Duff’s best supporting actress award for Nowhere Boy broke seconds after she received it, and Bond alumni Eva Green tripped over her floor-length gown walking down the red carpet. The awards were presented at The Brewery, Moorgate, London.