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Gay-Rights Film ‘Pride’ Tops British Independent Film Awards

Matthew Warchus’ comedy-drama beats ”The Imitation Game“ as the year’s best British indie


“Pride” has been named the best independent British film of 2014 at the British Independent Film Awards, which took  place in London on Sunday.

The film deals with a group of lesbian and gay activists who allied themselves with the coal miners during a British strike in 1984. It stars Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton and Andrew Scott, the latter two of which won the night’s supporting actress and actor awards.

This year’s other nominees were “’71,” “Calvary,” “Mr. Turner” and “The Imitation Game.” The last film, which is considered the strongest Oscar contender in the field, went home empty-handed except for the Variety Award, a previously-announced honorary award for bringing attention to British film, for star Benedict Cumberbatch.

Cumberbatch, though, lost the Best Actor award to Brendan Gleeson for “Calvary,” while in the Best Actress category, Gugu Mbatha-Raw won for “Belle.”

Richard Linklater‘s “Boyhood” was named Best International Independent Film, with the director dedicating the honor to British director Lindsay Anderson on a day when his film also won prizes from three different U.S. critics groups, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Veteran director John Boorman won the Special Jury Prize, while actress-writer Emma Thompson was given the Richard Harris Award.

Except for the international category, the award is given to independently funded British films. Since BIFA began in 1998, two winners have gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar, “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008 and “The King’s Speech” in 2010, but for the most part the honor has been given to a film not on the U.S. awards radar.

Past winners include “Tyrannosaur,” “Moon,” “Control” and last year’s “Metro Manila.”

Best British Independent Film: “Pride”
Best Director: Yann Demange, “’71”
The Douglas Nickox Award [Best Debut Director]: Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, “20,000 Days on Earth”
Best Screenplay: Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan, “Frank”
Best Actress: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Belle”
Best Actor: Brendan Gleeson, “Calvary”
Best Supporting Actress: Imelda Staunton, “Pride”
Best Supporting Actor: Andrew Scott, “Pride”
Most Promising Newcomer: Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, “Catch Me Daddy”
Best Achievement in Production:
“The Goob”
Best Technical Achievement: Stephen Rennicks, “Frank” (Music)
Best Documentary: “Next Goal Wins”
Best British Short: “The Kármán Line”
Best International Independent Film: “Boyhood”
The Raindance Award: “Luna”
Variety Award: Benedict Cumberbatch
Special Jury Prize: John Boorman
Richard Harris Award: Emma Thompson