The twelfth annual British Independent Film Awards will be held in Central London on December 6.

The ceremony will celebrate the best of this year’s independent film talent. Nominations and jury will be announced at the end of October. 

Three of Britain’s top stars have become official patrons of the organisation. Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen and David Thewlis will join the list of other patrons including Mike Figgis, Ken Loach, Bill Nighy, Tilda Swinton and Michael Winterbottom.

Mirren said: “Independent film is the beginning, the middle and the end in British film. Our industry depends on its success and every film-maker loves it, for it is where we find freedom and real expression. BIFA encourages and helps develop all our great British talent.

For a film to be considered in any of BIFAs main categories, it must qualify as British, have a budget of no more than $16 million (£10 million) (except where there is no substantial financial major studio support) and have a UK theatrical release or screening at a British-based film festival between December 1, 2008 and November 30.