For Sama triumphs at BIFAs

David Copperfield also scoops prizes

by Amber Wilkinson

Waad al-Kateab filming the ruins of a building destroyed by bombing in besieged east Aleppo, October 2016.
Waad al-Kateab filming the ruins of a building destroyed by bombing in besieged east Aleppo, October 2016. Photo: courtesy of PBS Distribution, copyright Waad al-Kateab
Documentary For Sama was named Best British Independent Film at the BIFA awards this weekend. The film, which charts a young mum's life in the midst of the Syrian conflict, also saw Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts take home the Best Directing prize and Best Documentary gong, along with additional technical awards.

The Personal History Of David Copperfield, which won three awards in the craft categories earlier in the week, saw Hugh Laurie named Best Supporting Actor and writer/director Armando Iannucci and his co-writer Simon Blackwell win the Best Screenplay award. The Best Debut Screenwriter award went ot Emma Jane Unsworth for Animals.

The Best Actor gong went to Josh O'Connor for his role in Harry Wootliff's two-hander about the evolution of a relationship, Only You, which also saw Wootlif named best debut director, while Renee Zellweger picked up the Best Actress award for her portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy.

The stars of The Last Tree - Ruthxjiah Bellenea and Sam Adewunmi - received the Best Support Actress and Most Promising Newcomer prizes respectively.

Bait won the Breakthrough Producer award for Kate Byers and Linn Waite, while documentary Children Of The Snow Land was named the Raindance Discovery.

Best British short film went to Dekel Berenson’s Anna, whil Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite took home the Best International Independent Film prize.

The special jury prize was presented to Amanda Nevill, the outgoing chief executive of the BFI.

Full list of winners:

  • The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film - Kristin Scott Thomas
  • Special Jury Prize - Amanda Nevill
  • Best British Independent Film - For Sama
  • Best Director - Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts (For Sama)
  • Best Screenplay - Armando Ianucci, Simon Blackwell (The Personal History Of David Copperfield)
  • Best Documentary - For Sama
  • Best Actress - Renee Zellweger (Judy)
  • Best Actor - 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)
  • Debut Screenwriter - Emma Jane Unsworth (Animals)
  • Breakthrough Producer - Kate Byers, Linn Waite (Bait)
  • The Raindance Discovery Award - Children Of The Snow Land
  • 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 Bowte-McMillan, Joakim Sundstrom, Robert Farr (Beats)
  • Best British Short Film - Anna, Dir: Dekel Berenson
  • Best International Independent Film - Parasite, Bong Joon Ho

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