Francis Lee’s love story “God’s Own Country” won Best Picture at the British Independent Film Awards on Sunday (Dec. 1) and three other prizes (Actor – Josh O’Connor; Debut Screenwriter for Lee; Best Sound) while William Oldroyd’s “Lady Macbeth” won a leading five awards (from a jaw-dropping 15 nominations), including Best Actress for Florence Pugh, who plays a rebellious bride. It was a good weekend for Oldroyd as he picked up the Discovery prize at the European Film Awards on Saturday.
Among those that Pugh edged out was Oscar frontrunner Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri”). Her film racked up 11 nominations but won only Film Editing and Score (Carter Burwell).
Rungano Nyoni won both Best Director and Best Debut Director for “I Am Not A Witch,” which also claimed the Breakthrough Producer prize.
Armando Iannucci’s savage satire “The Death Of Stalin” won four awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Simon Russell Beale.
To be eligible for consideration, a film had to be intended for theatrical release, produced or co-produced by a British company and have a budget of under 10 million pounds. The BIFA Awards were handed out at a ceremony at London’s Old Billingsgate presided over by Mark Gatiss (“Sherlock”).
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.