Towards the end of a rocky year for British filmmakers, particularly the independently funded ones, Tom Hooper's The King's Speech has been named Best British Independent Film at the — well, sorry about this, but we "are kindly requested to always refer to the Awards as The Moët British Independent Film Awards or The Moët Bifa's." Let's hope none of the papers tomorrow will be so cynical as to suggest that the French winery's sponsorship has anything to do with the Best Foreign Independent Film award going to Jacques Audiard's A Prophet.
At any rate, King's Speech, big night, all that: Best Screenplay (David Seidler), Best Actor (Colin Firth; the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw has posted about 40 seconds of his acceptance speech, by the way), Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush) and Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter).
The Douglas Hickox Award, given to a British director for his or her debut feature, goes to Clio Barnard for The Arbor. A Special Jury Prize goes to "the great enabler of British Independent Film," Jenne Casarotto. The producer declared in her acceptance speech that "We will get Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote made!"
Joanne Froggatt has been named Most Promising Newcomer for In Our Name. Mohamed Al-Daradji's Son of Babylon has won the Raindance Award, honoring exceptional achievement for filmmakers working against the odds. Best British Short: Baby.
A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that this year's Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor would be going to Helena Bonham Carter, while the Variety Award, which recognizes an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK, goes to Liam Neeson. You'll find a full list of all the nominees at the official site for... The Moët Bifa's.
Yesterday, Ali Samadi Ahadi's The Green Wave, an animated documentary about the tumultuous elections in Iran in the summer of 2009, won the German Human Rights Film Award. The film will be screening at Sundance in January.
Meantime, the London Underground Film Festival is underway, running through Friday. Mike Everleth has the lineup and schedule.
Stateside, the Los Angeles Filmforum is presenting an evening of Spanish experimental cinema tonight.
Today's lists. In the Guardian, Eamonn McCabe writes up his "10 best photographic portraits" — of all time. NME's "75 best albums of 2010."
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