‘It’s the reason I became an actor’: Stars celebrate at British Independent Film Awards

Entertainment

Stephen Graham has hailed independent film as the reason he became an actor at a ceremony celebrating the industry.

Speaking at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), where he was nominated for best actor for the one-shot drama Boiling Point, the star told Sky News it’s a part of cinema’s eco-system that needs protecting.

“It’s where people are allowed to not just learn on the job, but hone and develop their techniques and their skills,” Graham said.

Caitriona Balfe told Sky News that her latest movie would have been different if a big studio backed it
Image:
Caitriona Balfe told Sky News that her latest movie would have been different if a big studio backed it

“So then it keeps the industry alive, so hopefully we can find more investment and we can keep it [going].

“It’s the reason why I became an actor – independent films – if I’m honest.”

Caitriona Balfe was among the nominees for best actress for her role in Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical movie Belfast, which is yet to be released in cinemas in the UK.

She told Sky News the film, which is already tipped for BAFTA and Oscar nominations, would have been very different if it had been backed by a studio.

More from Ents & Arts

“I don’t think [Branagh] could have made the film that he wanted if it hadn’t been an independent film,” Balfe said.

Subscribe to the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

“And I think what ends up happening when you don’t have people over your shoulder, telling you how you have to make it relatable for everybody and all those things – you get to make a specific story from an auteur’s point of view, then it becomes universal and people can relate to it because in that specificity, it becomes universal, I think.

“[Independent film] is super important, I love it, we have to support it.”

‘There is an upsurge post-COVID’

Balfe was beaten to the best actress prize by Joanna Scanlan, who won for her role in After Love – the night’s big winner which also got the best director and best British independent film awards.

Scanlan said the industry has come out fighting after the shutdowns forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is an upsurge post-COVID, certainly in production, certainly in development as well,” she told Sky News.

“I think there was a period in which people could get developing because they weren’t doing anything else, being distracted by production, and then now production is motoring and there’s a lot of energy behind it, and not least because what did everybody do during COVID? They watched films, albeit on their screens at home, but that’s what they were doing.

“So I think it’s even more recognition of the absolutely gigantic appetite that people have to consume these brilliant stories told in these brilliant ways.”

Riz Ahmed was among the big winners at the awards
Image:
Riz Ahmed was among the big winners at the awards

‘British independent film is the toast of the world’

For BIFA founder Elliot Grove, it’s essential that people in the UK back the industry, which he says is having a global impact.

He said: “British independent film is the toast of the world – I was in New York right before the pandemic and in a multiplex in Manhattan of the nine films, five were British independent films. Wow!

“So we get acknowledgement abroad; it’s on this dull, damp, COVID-infested island that no one knows about British independent film.

“And that’s the whole point about tonight – to shine the spotlight on the amazing collection of talent in this room.”

Other winners at the ceremony in London included Adeel Akhtar for best actor and Riz Ahmed who got the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film.

Articles You May Like

Harry in military uniform as Queen’s grandchildren hold vigil
Special master orders Trump to provide proof backing up claim about FBI
Evelyn Yang joins 2020 hopeful husband Andrew for their first joint interview
Ukraine War: Claims of torture by Russian sympathisers
Ukraine War: Operational silence across southern Ukraine