LONDON — Mike Leigh’s abortion drama “Vera Drake” swept the board at the seventh British Independent Film Awards on Tuesday evening, winning six prizes including film, director and actress honors for Imelda Staunton and actor for Phil Davis.
Pic also picked up the achievement in production award, and supporting actor/actress prize (Eddie Marsan).
“Vera Drake” took every category but one in which it was nominated. Leigh missed out in the screenplay section, won by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright for “Shaun of the Dead.”
Kevin Macdonald’s “Touching the Void” was the other multiple winner, taking the documentary award and technical achievement for its cinematographer Mike Eley.
Ashley Walters was named most promising newcomer for his lead role in “Bullet Boy.” John Crowley won the Douglas Hickox debut director award for “Intermission.”
Chan-wook Park’s Korean pic “Oldboy” was honored with foreign film kudos.
The Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor went to Bob Hoskins, while the 2004 Jury Award for lifetime achievement went to producer Norma Heyman. Coincidentally, Hoskins is shooting “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” which Heyman is producing.
The BIFA award ceremony at the Hammersmith Palais in west London was once again the backdrop for the presentation of Variety‘s U.K. Personality of the Year award, bestowed this year on “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.
The honor was accepted on her behalf by David Heyman, producer of the “Potter” movies and, in a further coincidence, son of Norma.
British Independent Film — “Vera Drake”
Director — Mike Leigh, “Vera Drake”
Actor — Phil Davis, “Vera Drake”
Actress — Imelda Staunton, “Vera Drake”
Supporting Actor/Actress — Eddie Marsan, “Vera Drake”
Most Promising Newcomer — Ashley Walters, “Bullet Boy”
Screenplay — Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, “Shaun of the Dead”
Douglas Hickox Award (debut director) — John Crowley, “Intermission”
Technical Achievement — Mike Eley, cinematography, “Touching The Void”
Achievement in Production — “Vera Drake”
Foreign Film — “Oldboy”
Documentary — “Touching The Void”
The Raindance Award — “The Barn”
British Short Film — “School of Life”