British Independent Film Awards

British Independent Film Awards
The British Independent Film Awards is an annual award ceremony which celebrates and rewards the best, most creative and innovative independent filmmaking and filmmakers in the United Kingdom. Submission closes in September, the full list of nominations is announced in early November, and the award ceremony takes place in late November or early December.

The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) were created in 1998 by film producers Elliot Grove and Suzanne Ballantyne, who also established the Raindance Film Festival to promote British filmmaking. Grove and Ballantyne set out to highlight achievement in independently funded British cinema, to identify and encourage new talent, to celebrate the independent film community, and to promote British films to the general public.

The British Independent Film Awards form part of the Raindance Film Festival, submissions are typically required before the festival begins (Raindance is held in late September/early October). To be eligible for the British Independent Film Awards consideration, films must be indented for theatrical release and produced or predominantly co-produced by a British company. As the awards focus on independent cinema, films substantially funded by any major film studio are eligible so long as studio funds not exceed $20 million.

International independent films and short films have separate eligibility criteria. International films must have a theatrical release in the United Kingdom during the eligibility period. Short films must have won an award or have been accepted as part of the Official Selection at one of BIFA’s recognized film festivals during the eligibility period.

The majority of BIFA categories are open to British independent films, although there are some exceptions. As of 2016, the categories include Best British Independent Film, Best International Independent Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Debut Director (the Douglas Hickox Award), Debut Screenwriter, Breakthrough Producer, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Support Actor, Best Support Actress, Most Promising Newcomer, Outstanding Achievement in Craft, Best British Short, Best Documentary, and the Discovery Award.

BIFA’s major funding partner is the UK Film Council, an organization designed to develop and promote the country’s film industry. The list of the British Independent Film Awards official patrons is made up of internationally renowned actors including Adrian Lester, Tom Hollander, Meera Syal, Samantha Morton, Ewan McGregor, Ken Loach, Ray Winstone, Michael Winterbottom, Mike Figgis, Trudie Styler, Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, David Thewlis, and James Nesbitt.

British Independent Film Awards

Photo by Dave Benett




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