After Love

Source: Courtesy of BBC Films

‘After Love’

Aleem Khan’s feature directing debut After Love won six awards at this year’s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), which took place tonight (December 5) in London.

Scroll down for full lst of winners

After Love won best British independent film, with Khan taking home three prizes: best director, best debut director and best screenplay. Khan was named a Screen Star of Tomorrow in 2015 and his 2014 short Three Brothers received a Bafta nomination.

The film stars Joanna Scanlan, who also won best actress, as a Muslim woman who becomes a widow following the unexpected death of her husband. A day after the burial, she learns he had a secret life not far from their Dover home, across the Channel in Calais. Talid Ariss, who plays her teenage son, won best supporting actor. After Love was produced by The Bureau and released by the BFI in 2021 following its world premiere at the London Film Festival the previous year.

The in-person ceremony took place at Old Billingsgate and was hosted by comedian Asim Chaudhry, with the craft award winners previously announced in November

Other winners included Adeel Akhtar, who picked up best actor for his performance in Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava, which also won best music.

Philip Barantini’s single-take chef drama Boiling Point, the joint-most nominated film with 11 nods (alongside The Souvenir: Part II), finished with four awards in total: Vinette Robinson for best supporting actress; Carolyn McCleod for best casting; Matthew Lewis for best cinematography; and James Drake, Rob Entwistle and Kiff McManus for best sound.

The Souvenir: Part II didn’t pick up any prizes on the night but did win three craft awards: best costume for Screen Star of Tomorrow Grace Snell; best editing for Helle Le Fevre; and best production design for Stephane Collonge.

Nell Barlow picked up the breakthrough performance award for her role in Marley Morrison’s Sweetheart, with the film’s producer Michelle Antoniades winning the breakthrough producer prize.

Cathy Brady won best debut screenwriter for Wildfire, while Paul Sng and Celeste Bell’s Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché won best documentary and the Raindance discovery award.

Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s animated real-life refugee story Flee, Denmark’s Oscar entry, won best international independent film.

The special jury prize, awarded by the BIFA main jury including Jennifer Ehle, Alice Lowe, Emma Corrin and Bennett McGhee, was given to Raising Films, which supports and campaigns for parents and carers working in the UK screen sector.

The honourary Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film went to Riz Ahmed.

Full list of winners

Winners in bold

Best British Independent Film

  • After Love - Aleem Khan, Matthieu De Braconier
  • Ali & Ava - Clio Barnard, Tracy O’riordan
  • Boiling Point - Philip Barantini, James Cummings, Bart Ruspoli, Hester Ruoff
  • The Nest - Sean Durkin, Ed Guiney, Derrin Schlesinger, Rose Garnett, Amy Jackson, Cristina Piovesan
  • The Souvenir: Part II - Joanna Hogg, Ed Guiney, Emma Norton, Andrew Lowe, Luke Schiller

Best Director

  • Philip Barantini - Boiling Point
  • Clio Barnard - Ali & Ava
  • Sean Durkin - The Nest
  • Joanna Hogg - The Souvenir: Part II
  • Aleem Khan - After Love

Best Screenplay

  • Clio Barnard - Ali & Ava
  • Terence Davies - Benediction
  • Sean Durkin - The Nest
  • Joanna Hogg - The Souvenir: Part II
  • Aleem Khan - After Love

Best Actress

  • Caitríona Balfe - Belfast
  • Carrie Coon - The Nest
  • Claire Rushbrook - Ali & Ava
  • Joanna Scanlan - After Love
  • Ruth Wilson - True Things

Best Actor

  • Riz Ahmed - Encounter
  • Adeel Akhtar - Ali & Ava
  • Stephen Graham - Boiling Point
  • Jude Law - The Nest
  • James Norton - Nowhere Special

Best Supporting Actress

  • Judi Dench - Belfast
  • Jo Hartley - Sweetheart
  • Nathalie Richard - After Love
  • Vinette Robinson - Boiling Point
  • Tilda Swinton - The Souvenir: Part II

Best Supporting Actor

  • Talid Ariss - After Love
  • Richard Ayoade - The Souvenir: Part II
  • Lucian-River Chauhan - Encounter
  • Ciarán Hinds - Belfast
  • Ray Panthaki - Boiling Point

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director)

  • Prano Bailey-Bond - Censor
  • Celeste Bell - Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché [also directed by Paul Sng]
  • Cathy Brady - Wildfire
  • Aleem Khan - After Love
  • Marley Morrison - Sweetheart

Breakthrough Producer

  • Michelle Antoniades - Sweetheart
  • Helen Jones - Censor
  • Jessica Malik - She Will [also produced by Bob Last]
  • Hester Ruoff - Boiling Point [also produced by Bart Ruspoli]
  • Rob Watson - The Power [also produced by Matthew James Wilkinson]

Breakthrough Performance

  • Lauryn Ajufo - Boiling Point
  • Nell Barlow - Sweetheart
  • Max Harwood - Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
  • Jude Hill - Belfast
  • Ellora Torchia - In The Earth

Best Debut Screenwriter

  • Prano Bailey-Bond - Censor [also written by Anthony Fletcher]
  • Cathy Brady - Wildfire
  • Aleem Khan - After Love
  • Marley Morrison - Sweetheart
  • Reggie Yates – Pirates

Best Documentary

  • Cow - Andrea Arnold, Kat Mansoor
  • Dying To Divorce - Chloë Fairweather, Sinead Kirwan
  • I Am Belmaya - Sue Carpenter, Christopher Hird
  • Keyboard Fantasies - Posy Dixon, Liv Proctor
  • Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché - Paul Sng, Celeste Bell, Zoë Howe, Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman, Daria Nitsche

The Discovery Award

  • Bank Job - Daniel Edelstyn, Hilary Powell, Christopher Hird
  • The Bike Thief - Matt Chambers, Pk Fellowes, Sophia Gibber, Lene Bausager
  • I Am Belmaya - Sue Carpenter, Christopher Hird
  • Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché - Paul Sng, Celeste Bell, Zoë Howe, Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman, Daria Nitsche
  • Rebel Dykes - Harri Shanahan, Siân A. Williams, Siobhan Fahey

Best British Short Film

  • Egúngún (Masquerade) - Olive Nwosu, Alex Polunin
  • Femme - Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping, Sam Riztenberg, Hayley Williams, Rienjke Attoh
  • Night Of The Living Dread - Ida Melum, Laura Jayne Tunbridge, Hannah Kelso, Danielle Goff
  • Play It Safe - Mitch Kalisa, Chris Toumazou
  • Precious Hair & Beauty - John Ogunmuyiwa, Sophia Gibber, Tony Longe, Lene Bausager

Best International Independent Film

  • Compartment No. 6 - Juho Kuosmanen, Livia Ulman, Andris Feldmanis, Jussi Rantamäki, Emilia Haukka
  • First Cow - Kelly Reichardt, Jon Raymond, Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani
  • Flee - Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Amin Nawabi, Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen
  • Petite Maman - Céline Sciamma, Bénédicte Couvreur
  • Pleasure - Ninja Thyberg, Peter Modestij, Erik Hemmendorff, Eliza Jones, Markus Waltå

Best Casting

  • Shaheen Baig - After Love
  • Shaheen Baig - Ali & Ava
  • Shaheen Baig - Pirates
  • Lucy Bevan, Emily Brockmann - Belfast
  • Carolyn Mcleod - Boiling Point

Best Cinematography

  • Mátyás Erdély - The Nest
  • Magdalena Kowalczyk - Cow
  • Matthew Lewis - Boiling Point
  • Annika Summerson - Censor
  • Haris Zambarloukos - Belfast

Best Costume Design

  • Michael O’Connor - The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain
  • Grace Snell - The Souvenir: Part II
  • Guy Speranza - Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
  • Annie Symons - Benediction
  • Charlotte Walter – Belfast

Best Editing

  • Helle Le Fevre - The Souvenir: Part II
  • Rebecca Lloyd, Jacob Schulsinger, Nicolas Chaudeurge - Cow
  • Úna Ní Dhonghaíle - Belfast
  • Mark Towns - Censor
  • Ben Wheatley - In The Earth 

Best Music

  • Iain Cooke - Pirates
  • Connie Farr, Harry Escott - Ali & Ava
  • Jed Kurzel - Encounter
  • Clint Mansell - In The Earth
  • Van Morrison - Belfast 

Best Make-Up & Hair

  • Siobhan Harper-Ryan - The Souvenir: Part II
  • Vickie Lang, Kristyan Mallett, Donald McInnes - The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain
  • Ruth Pease - Censor
  • Nadia Stacey - Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
  • Wakana Yoshihara - Belfast

Best Effects

  • Steven Bray, Mike Knights - Dashcam
  • Gary Brown, István Molnár, Dan Martin - Censor
  • Rupert Davies - The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain

Best Production Design

  • Jim Clay - Belfast
  • Stéphane Collonge - The Souvenir: Part II
  • Suzie Davies - The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain
  • Aimee Meek - Boiling Point
  • Paulina Rzeszowska - Censor

Best Sound

  • Nicolas Becker, Cyril Holtz, Linda Forsen - Cow
  • James Drake - Boiling Point
  • Tim Harrison, Jamie Roden, Adele Fletcher - Censor
  • Martin Pavey - In The Earth
  • Andrew Stirk, Paul Davies, Morgan Muse, Bernard O’reilly, Julian Howarth - Encounter