Duo take seven nominations each

LONDON — Martin McDonagh’s Irish hitman drama “In Bruges” and “Hunger,” Brit visual-artist-turned-feature-helmer Steve McQueen’s arresting account of the Irish republican hunger strike, lead the field for the British Independent Film Awards with seven noms apiece.

The nominations for the 11th edition of the awards, which takes place Nov. 30, were announced Tuesday at a lunchtime press conference at industry hangout Soho House.

Next best with six nods is Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire.” Critically lauded Indian-set pic closes the Times BFI London Film Festival this Thursday.

Eran Creevy’s low budget “Shifty,” about 24 hours in the life of a crack dealer, has garnered an impressive five BIFA noms. Big haul highlights BIFA voters’ willingness to celebrate low-budget fare alongside bigger productions.

Shane Meadows’ “Somers Town,” Garth Jenning’s “Son of Rambow” and Saul Dibb’s “The Duchess” hold four nominations each.

Other films with multiple nominations are “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and “Happy-Go-Lucky,” both with three, and “Man on Wire,” “The Daisy Chain,” “Eden Lake” and “The Escapist” with two each.

The nominations list makes particularly pleasant reading for Brit thesp Ralph Fiennes, who is double-nommed in the best supporting actor category for “In Bruges” and “The Duchess.” It caps a good week for Fiennes who, Monday night, received the Variety U.K. Achievement in Film Award at a Q&A event hosted by the London Film Fest.

Thomas Turgoose, who previously scooped the BIFA best newcomer prize, becomes the youngest ever nominee for best actor for his turn as a mischievous teen runaway in “Somers Town.”

David Thewlis is this year’s recipient of the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor. The Variety Award for bringing the international spotlight to the British film industry goes to “Frost/Nixon” topliner Michael Sheen.

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