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BIFA stokes awards embers

Nov. 30 ceremony takes over the Hammersmith Palais

LONDON — The decision to move the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) from their September berth to the end of November in order to catch some of the awards season fire appears to have worked. The Nov. 30 ceremony at the Hammersmith Palais was oversold with maxed-out capacity of 600 revelers at the kudosfest.

The gongs that wound up getting distributed also added to the Oscar prelims buzz, with “Vera Drake” sweeping up six honors. Also noted were honors for career achievement to durable U.K. thesp Bob Hoskins and producer Norma Heyman, hard at work on Stephen Frears’ “Mrs. Henderson Presents.” “Harry Potter” producer (and son of Norma), David Heyman, stood in for preggers “Potter” scribe J.K. Rowling, who was awarded Variety’s “U.K. Personality of the Year” award.

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