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‘Broken,’ ‘Berberian’ top BIFA

Rufus Norris' debut film earns best indie kudo; Strickland pic nabs four trophies

Director Rufus Norris’ debut “Broken” was named best film at the 15th British Independent Film Awards Sunday, although Peter Strickland’s “Berberian Sound Studio” was the night’s big winner converting four of its seven noms into trophies.

Strickland picked up the helmer prize for his tale of a British sound engineer, played by Toby Jones, whose work for an Italian producer descends into nightmare. Jones nabbed best actor for his performance.

The film, produced by Illuminations Films and Warp Films’ low-budget Warp X label, also claimed best achievement in production and best technical achievement for Joakim Sundstrom and Stevie Haywood’s sound design. Match Factory handles international sales and Artificial Eye released the film in the U.K., where it grossed £162,000 ($256,000).

“Broken,” about a London girl whose life changes after witnessing a violent attack, also picked up the best supporting actor award for Rory Kinnear. The film was produced by Cuba Pictures for BBC Films and will be released in the U.K. by StudioCanal. Wild Buch handles international sales. “Broken” had scored the most BIFA noms this year with nine.

Bart Layton’s hit docu “The Imposter,” which grossed $1.8 million at the U.K. box office through Revolver/Picturehouse, picked up the British docu prize, while Layton was feted with the Douglas Hickox Award for directorial debut.

Andrea Riseborough won actress honors for James Marsh’s “Shadow Dancer,” while Olivia Colman nabbed supporting actress for Roger Michell’s “Hyde Park on Hudson.”

Best screenplay went to Steve Oram and Alice Lowe for helmer Ben Wheatley’s “Sightseers,” currently on release in Blighty through StudioCanal, while the Raindance Award went to Rob Savage’s “Strings.”

“Broken,” “Berberian Sound Studio,” “Sightseers” and “Shadow Dancer” were also all backed by the British Film Institute’s Film Fund.

Best international independent film went to Danish helmer Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt.”

James Floyd was named most promising newcomer for his role in Sally El Hosaini’s “My Brother the Devil.”

Actor Jude Law was feted with the Variety Award, which recognizes an actor, helmer, scribe or producer who has helped focus the international spotlight on Blighty.

Michael Gambon was honored with the Richard Harris Award, which recognizes outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. It was an especially poignant award as Gambon took over the role of Professor Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” franchise following Harris’ death in 2002.

Former artistic director of the BFI London Film Festival, Sandra Hebron, was awarded the special jury prize.

Actor James Nesbitt hosted the ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London.

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