‘The Favourite’ Dominates the British Independent Film Awards

The Yorgos Lanthimos film wins 10 awards, including best film, best director and acting honors for Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz

The Favourite
"The Favourite" / Fox Searchlight

Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite” definitely lived up to its name at the British Independent Film Awards on Sunday, where it won 10 awards, including best director, best screenplay and best British independent film of 2018.

The awards were handed out at Old Billingsgate in London.

Lanthimos’ twisted period piece won in a category whose other nominees were “American Animals,” “Beast,” “Disobedience”  and “You Were Never Really Here.”

Acting awards went to Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz for “The Favourite,” Joe Cole for “A Prayer Before Dawn” and Alessandro Nivola for “Disobedience.”

Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” won the award for the best international indie, beating out the Gotham Awards winner “The Rider” and three other films in the Oscar foreign-language race: “Capernaum,” “Cold War” and “Shoplifters.”

The BIFA’s three breakthrough awards went to “Ray & Liz” producer Jacqui Davies and director Richard Billingham, and “American Animals” writer Bart Layton. The most promising newcomer award went to “Beast” star Jessie Buckley.

Orlando von Einsiedel’s “Evelyn” won the award for the best indie documentary.

In craft awards announced in advance of the show, “The Favourite” won for its cinematography, casting, production design, costume design and hair and makeup. “You Were Never Really Here” won for its sound and for Jonny Greenwood’s score, while “American Animals” won for editing. The Aardman animated film “Early Man” won for visual effects.

Going into the awards, “The Favourite” had led all films with 13 nominations. Its only nominations that did not result in wings were Emma Stone’s supporting-actress nod, which she lost to castmate Weisz, and the nominations for editing and sound.

The black comedy, which was shot in England with a largely British cast by the Greek director Lanthimos, was in the unusual position of having been designated a British indie by BIFA and an American indie by the Gotham Awards, where it won a special ensemble acting honor but did not win any competitive awards.

Nominees and most BIFA winners are selected by special juries, with only the Best British Independent Feature award chosen by a vote of the entire membership. As a result, and because entries are restricted to independent British films, the awards typically have little bearing on and little overlap with the Oscars.

Since the British Independent Film Awards were established in 1998, only two of its winners — “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008 and “The King’s Speech” in 2010 — have gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

Five other films were nominated for the top BIFA award also nominated for Best Picture, but did not win either award. Those were “The Imitation Game,” “Philomena,” “The Queen,” “Elizabeth” and last year’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

The complete list of British Independent Film Awards 2018 winners:

Best British Independent Film: “The Favourite”
Best Director: Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Best Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Actor: Joe Cole, “A Prayer Before Dawn”
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
Best Supporting Actor: Alessandro Nivola,
Most Promising Newcomer: Jessie Buckley, “Beast”
The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director): Richard Billingham, 
”Ray & Liz”
Debut Screenwriter: Bart Layton, “American Animals”
Breakthrough Producer: Jacqui Davies, “Ray & Liz”
The Discovery Award: “Voyageuse”
Best Documentary: “Evelyn”
Best British Short Film: “The Big Day”
Best International Independent Film: “Roma”
Best Casting: “The Favourite”
Best Costume Design: Sandy Powell, “The Favourite”
Best Cinematography: Robbie Ryan, “The Favourite”
Best Editing: Nick Fenton, Julian Hart and Chris Gill, “American Animals
Best Effects: Howard Jones, “Early Man”
Best Make Up & Hair Design: Nadia Stacey, “The Favourite”
Best Production Design: Fiona Crombie, “The Favourite”
Best Music: Jonny Greenwood, “You Were Never Really Here”
Best Sound: Paul Davies, “You Were Never Really Here”
Special Jury Prize: Horace Ové
Variety Award: Felicity Jones
Richard Harris Award: Judi Dench