‘Dirty’ sweeps BIFAs

Three BBC Films pix snag Brit indie kudos

LONDON — “Dirty Pretty Things” was the big winner Tuesday evening at the sixth British Independent Film Awards, picking up prizes for film, director (Stephen Frears), actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and screenplay (Steve Knight).

Michael Winterbottom’s refugee drama “In This World” and Richard Jobson’s autobiographical debut “16 Years of Alcohol” won two awards apiece.

Jobson took the Douglas Hickox Award for debut director, with Susan Lynch winning the supporting performance category, which covers thesps of both sexes.

“In This World” was honored for achievement in production and editor Peter Christelis won for technical achievement.

Olivia Williams was named best actress for her perf in “The Heart of Me.” That award completed a great night for BBC Films, which developed and co-financed that pic plus “Dirty Pretty Things” and “In This World.”

Harry Eden, the young star of Gillies Mackinnon’s “Pure,” was named most promising newcomer. Simon Pummell’s “Bodysong” won the documentary prize and Brazil’s “City of God” was the foreign film winner. The ensemble cast of “The Magdalene Sisters” was given a special jury award.

Veteran producer Jeremy Thomas was honored with a special jury prize, and the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor went to John Hurt.

The ceremony, held at the Hammersmith Palais in west London, also saw Ian McKellen receive Variety‘s U.K. Personality of the Year Award for his achievements in 2003 and across his career.

“Britain is a real melting pot,” BIFA founder Elliot Grove said. “If you look down the list of nominees and winners, you will see a list of films that any country would be proud of making. They show a unique cultural diversity that ensures our films are accessible to, and enjoyed by, audiences throughout the world.”

And the winners are . . .

British Independent Film

“Dirty Pretty Things”


Stephen Frears, “Dirty Pretty Things”


Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dirty Pretty Things”


Olivia Williams, “The Heart of Me”

Supporting Actor/Actress

Susan Lynch, “16 Years of Alcohol”

Most Promising Newcomer

Harry Eden, “Pure”


Steve Knight, “Dirty Pretty Things”

Douglas Hickox Award (Debut Director)

Richard Jobson, “16 Years of Alcohol”

Technical Achievement

Peter Christelis, editor “In This World”

Achievement in Production

“In This World”

Foreign Film

“City of God”



Short Film

“Dad’s Dead”

Special Jury Prize

Jeremy Thomas

Richard Harris Award

John Hurt

British Airways Bursary

Lenka Clayton

Jury 2003 Award

Anne Marie-Duff, Dorothy Duffy, Geraldine McEwan, Nora-Jane Noone, Eileen Walsh for “The Magdalene Sisters”

Variety U.K. Personality of the Year Award

Ian McKellen

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • They Shall Not Grow Old restoration

    Peter Jackson Documentary 'They Shall Not Grow Old' Nabs Limited China Release

    The Peter Jackson produced and directed World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” will hit Chinese theaters on November 11. Though it will roll out nationwide, it will do so via the China’s National Arthouse Alliance, which has limited screens. The 2018 documentary puts together interviews with WWI veterans and more than 100-year-old [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    'Zombieland: Double Tap' Hopes to Recapture Raunchy Zombie Magic, 10 Years Later

    Audiences may have a few questions about the sequel to 2009’s hit “Zombieland,” which opens Friday. Why did it take 10 years to make a second one, after the first grossed $102.4 million worldwide on a $23 million budget, making it the third-biggest zombie movie of all time (second-biggest if you don’t count “Hotel Transylvania,” [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Accused of Firing VP Who Complained of Gender Pay Gap

    A former vice president at AMC Theatres filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing the company of firing her after she complained that she was paid far less than her male peers. Tonya Mangels, who was vice president of product marketing, said that in March 2018 her supervisor inadvertently sent her a spreadsheet that included [...]

  • Sir Elton John poses for photographers

    Elton John Calls 'Lion King' Remake a 'Huge Disappointment'

    Elton John isn’t feeling the love for Disney’s latest live-action remake. In an interview with GQ U.K., the legendary musician criticized Disney’s remake of “The Lion King,” citing the film’s music as a “huge disappointment.” “The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music [...]

  • Fiddlin'

    Film Review: 'Fiddlin''

    Not many forms of music have “old-” actually built into their name as a prefix. So it’s a given that the practitioners of the 200-year-old genre known as “old-time music” will wear their antiquity proudly in “Fiddlin’,” a documentary set in and around the 80th annual Old Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Va. What may not [...]

  • Jonah Hill attends the press conference

    Jonah Hill Passes on Role in 'The Batman'

    After being offered a role in “The Batman,” Jonah Hill has moved on from the project. Why exactly Hill is passing is currently unknown, and insiders tell Variety that when the news was initially reported, it was very early in the negotiations and that a deal was far from closing. The news comes after Zoe [...]

  • Daniel Kaluuya Elizabeth Moss

    SCAD Savannah Film Festival Honorees Include Daniel Kaluuya, Elisabeth Moss

    Daniel Kaluuya, Elisabeth Moss, Danielle Macdonald, Aldis Hodge, Valerie Pachner, Samantha Morton, Sienna Miller, Alan Silvestri and Olivia Wilde are set to be honored at the 22nd Annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival. Breakout Award honorees include Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Jharrel Jerome, Mena Massoud and Camila Morrone. Macdonald, who appears on Netflix in “Unbelievable” and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content