Saint Maud, His House lead 2020 BIFA Award nominees
James R | On 09, Dec 2020
The 2020 British Independent Film Awards nominees have been announced, and Saint Maud and Netflix’s His House are leading the pack.
The awards celebrate UK filmmaking talent in independent film productions, and there’s a strong showing for first-time filmmakers across the board in this year’s line-up, showcasing the diversity of talent currently working.
Rose Glass’ sharp and smart psychological horror Saint Maud is nominated for Best British Independent Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director, as well as in the debut categories: Breakthrough Producer, Debut Director and Debut Screenwriter. Morfydd Clark is nominated for Best Actress and Jennifer Ehle for Supporting Actress. The film also features heavily in the technical categories with nominations for Best Casting, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Make Up & Hair Design, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Effects.
Saint Maud will be taking on Netflix’s His House, which has 16 nominations across the Director, Screenplay, debut and technical categories. Weaving the real-life horrors faced by asylum seekers with terrors altogether more supernatural, Remi Weekes’ powerful debut also received nominations in Best Actress and Best Actor for Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù.
Rocks, Sarah Gavron and Anu Henrique’s fresh, poignant and genuinely uplifting take on life as a marginalised British teen – recently acquired by Netflix UK – has 15 nominations, including double nominations for stars Bukky Bakray and Kosar Ali in Best Actress and Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer. D’angleou Osei Kissiedu is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Director Nick Rowland and producer Daniel Emmerson’s first feature Calm With Horses – now available on Netflix UK – has 10 nominations in the debut categories as well as recognition for performers Cosmo Jarvis (Best Actor), Niamh Algar (Best Supporting Actress, Most Promising Newcomer) and Barry Keoghan (Best Supporting Actor) and for casting director Shaheen Baig.
Florian Zeller’s The Father completes the Best British Independent Film line-up. The film has six nominations in total, including a first BIFA nomination for Anthony Hopkins for his portrayal of the titular Father, a man struggling with the realities of the changing circumstances ageing brings.
Riz Ahmed has four BIFA nominations this year – as Best Actor, Debut Screenwriter and Best Screenplay for Mogul Mowgli – currently available to stream on BFI Player – and also for The Long Goodbye, a short film which he wrote and starred in. Riz’s Mogul Mowgli co-star Alyy Khan is also recognised in the Supporting Actor category.
Andrea Riseborough is nominated for Best Actress for her performance as a British aid worker haunted by past choices in Luxor, released on VOD last month; Clare Dunne is nominated for her performance in Herself, which streamed at the London Film Festival in October.
Debut Director Henry Blake is nominated for County Lines – recently released on VOD – alongside lead actor Conrad Khan, nominated for Most Promising Newcomer, and supporting actors Ashley Madekwe and Harris Dickinson.
Frankie Box is named a Most Promising Newcomer for her role in Perfect 10, which was released online and in cinemas during the summer. Eva Riley is nominated for Best Debut Director and the film is nominated for The Raindance Discovery Award.
Amongst four nominations for the film, Amir El-Masry is nominated for Best Actor for MUBI’s Limbo.
Merab Ninindze is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in cold war thriller The Courier opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.
This year’s recipient of the Richard Harris Award, which recognises outstanding contribution to British Film by an actor, will be announced in January, alongside more details of the awards ceremony, which is expected to take place in February, either in person or virtually.