'Callar,' 'Sunday' draw Brit indie trophies

LONDON — Ken Loach’s “Sweet Sixteen” nabbed picture honors Wednesday at the fifth annual British Independent Film Awards, with teenage star Martin Compston winning for most promising newcomer.

“Sweet Sixteen” beat out “Morvern Callar” and “Bloody Sunday,” but the other two picked up a brace of prizes at the ceremony at London’s Pacha nightclub.

Samantha Morton won actress kudos for “Morvern Callar,” whose cinematographer, Alwin Kuchler, won for technical achievement.

James Nesbitt took home the actor trophy for his lead role in “Bloody Sunday,” with Paul Greengrass winning for director.

Writer-directors Tom Hunsinger and Neil Hunter took the screenplay prize for their movie “The Lawless Heart.” Gurinder Chadha’s smash hit “Bend It Like Beckham” went away empty-handed.

‘Wedding’ day

India’s “Monsoon Wedding” won the foreign-lingo award, and Australia’s “Lantana” took foreign English-lingo film honors.

“24 Hour Party People” was awarded the prize for achievement in production.

One of the evening’s most emotional moments came when Richard Harris, who died Friday, was posthumously honored for outstanding contribution by an actor.

Another posthumous honoree was George Harrison, feted with a lifetime achievement award for his role as founder of HandMade Films.

Cinematographer Brian Tufano received the special jury prize, while Wendy Strike and Nick Moran drew a nod for the most effective distribution campaign for “Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry.” Co-directors Lindy Heymann and Christian Taylor won the Douglas Hickox award for their debut feature “Showboy.”

Daily Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos presented thesp Ewan McGregor with the Variety U.K. personality of the year honor, along with a $10,000 check toward his chosen charity.

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