All Of Us Strangers

Source: Searchlight Pictures

‘All Of Us Strangers’

Andrew Haigh’s All Of Us Strangers was the major winner at the British Independent Film Awards (Bifas), with How To Have Sex and Femme also scooping key prizes.

The awards unfurled tonight (December 3) in London’s Old Billingsgate, with a ceremony hosted by stars of TV comedy Ghosts, Lolly Adefope and Kiell Smith-Bynoe. The joyous hosts opened the ceremony with a tribute to British independent film. “This is going to be the best night of our lives,” said Smith-Bynoe. Adefope described UK indie cinema as the “much-needed remedy” for Hollywood franchise features, although quipping, “I can’t wait for Rye Lane Two: Tokyo Drift”. 

Haigh took home the awards for best British independent film, best director and best screenplay, with the film’s star Paul Mescal clinching best supporting performance – one of two winners of this year’s award. These four awards added to its three craft awards, announced in November: best cinematography, best editing and best music supervision.

Haigh’s feature follow-up to his 2017 Bifa-nominated film Lean On Pete stars Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Claire Foy and Jamie Bell. The Telluride premiere, which Haigh described as “the most personal thing I’ve ever done,” sees Scott play a writer who is drawn both back to his past and towards a mysterious new relationship. 

Best lead performance went to Mia McKenna-Bruce in Molly Manning Walker’s debut feature How To Have Sex, which follows three teenage girls navigating an unruly summer holiday in Malia. Shaun Thomas also won best supporting performance for his role as Badger. The film won three Bifas in total, including the previously announced win for best casting.

Raine Allen-Miller’s debut, south London-set romantic comedy Rye Lane, was the most-nominated feature at this year’s ceremony, with Vivian Oparah winning the breakthrough performance award, in addition to its previously announced best original music award.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and George MacKay were presented with the best joint lead performance award for Sam H Freeman and Ng Choon Ping’s revenge thriller Femme, adding a trophy to its craft wins – best costume design for Buki Ebiesuwa and best make-up and hair design for Marie Deehan.

Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or winning journey into the depths of a couple’s relationship, Anatomy Of A Fall secured itself another accolade, the 2023 Bifa for best international independent film. It recently also was crowned at the Gothams with best international feature, and Triet and Arthur Harari took home the award for best screenplay.

The 2023 Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film was presented to Stephen Graham by his old friend Jodie Comer – who credited her career to Graham recommending her to his agent, Jane Epstein. Graham described himself as “extremely overwhelmed”. He recalled the moment his interest in becoming an actor was ignited, while at school. “I’m not that good at English, because I’m dyslexic, but they put a video on – [Ken Loach film] Kes – and it blew my mind.”

He also reflected on the tough moments, “I was going to pack it in after This Is England. I was out of work for eight months,” and paid special tribute to all crew and below-the-line workers he has worked with across his career.

The special jury prize, awarded by the Bifa jury and presented by 2023 jury member Paapa Essiedu, went to We Are Parable, the grassroots company founded by Anthony and Teanne Andrews to deliver Black cinema to audiences in culturally relevant and innovative ways.

“Britain should be so proud of Anthony And Teanne. The most exciting thing is it seems like this is just the beginning,” said Essiedu, noting the success of their mentoring programme, Momentum. We Are Parable is distributing Savannah Leaf’s Earth Mama – their first acquisition – which took home the best debut director award.

Bifa 2023 winners

Winners in bold 

Best British Independent Film

  • All Of Us Strangers - Andrew Haigh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Sarah Harvey
  • Femme - Sam H Freeman, Ng Choon Ping, Myles Payne, Sam Ritzenberg
  • How To Have Sex - Molly Manning Walker, Ivana MacKinnon, Emily Leo, Konstantinos Kontovrakis
  • Rye Lane - Raine Allen-Miller, Nathan Bryon, Tom Melia, Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo, Damian Jones
  • Scrapper - Charlotte Regan, Theo Barrowclough

Best Joint Lead Performance

  • Lola Campbell, Harris Dickinson - Scrapper
  • David Jonsson, Vivian Oparah - Rye Lane
  • Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, George MacKay - Femme

Best Lead Performance

  • Jodie Comer - The End We Start From
  • Mia McKenna-Bruce - How To Have Sex
  • Tia Nomore - Earth Mama
  • Nabhaan Rizwan - In Camera
  • Andrew Scott - All Of Us Strangers
  • Tilda Swinton - The Eternal Daughter

Best Director

  • Raine Allen-Miller - Rye Lane
  • Sam H Freeman, Ng Choon Ping - Femme
  • Andrew Haigh - All Of Us Strangers
  • Molly Manning Walker - How To Have Sex
  • Charlotte Regan - Scrapper

Best Screenplay

  • Nathan Bryon, Tom Melia - Rye Lane
  • Sam H Freeman, Ng Choon Ping - Femme
  • Andrew Haigh - All Of Us Strangers
  • Molly Manning Walker - How To Have Sex
  • Charlotte Regan - Scrapper

Best Supporting Performance

  • Ritu Aryu - Polite Society
  • Jamie Bell - All Of Us Strangers
  • Samuel Bottomley - How To Have Sex
  • Alexandra Burke - Pretty Red Dress
  • Amir El-Masry - In Camera
  • Claire Foy - All Of Us Strangers
  • Paul Mescal - All Of Us Strangers
  • Alia Shawkat - Drift
  • Shaun Thomas - How To Have Sex
  • Katherine Waterston - The End We Start From

Best Feature Documentary

  • Another Body - Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, Isabel Freeman, Elizabeth Woodward
  • Bobi Wine: The People’s President - Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp, John Battsek
  • If The Streets Were On Fire - Alice Russell, Gannesh Rajah
  • Lyra - Alison Millar, Jackie Doyle
  • Occupied City - Steve Mcqueen, Bianca Stitger, Floor Onrust, Anna Smith-Tenser

Breakthrough Performance

  • Le’Shantey Bonsu - Girl
  • Lola Campbell - Scrapper
  • Priya Kansara - Polite Society
  • Mia McKenna-Bruce - How To Have Sex
  • Vivian Oparah - Rye Lane

Best Debut Screenwriter

  • Nathan Bryon, Tom Melia - Rye Lane
  • Sam H Freeman, Ng Choon Ping - Femme
  • Molly Manning Walker - How To Have Sex
  • Nida Manzoor - Polite Society
  • Charlotte Regan - Scrapper

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director)

  • Raine Allen-Miller - Rye Lane
  • Sam H Freeman, Ng Choon Ping - Femme
  • Savanah Leaf - Earth Mama
  • Molly Manning Walker - How To Have Sex
  • Charlotte Regan - Scrapper

Breakthrough Producer

  • Theo Barrowclough - Scrapper
  • Georgia Goggin - Pretty Red Dress
  • Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo - Rye Lane
  • [Also Produced By Damian Jones]
  • Gannesh Rajah - If The Streets Were On Fire
  • Chi Thai - Raging Grace

Best Debut Director – Feature Documentary

  • Chloe Abrahams - The Taste Of Mango
  • Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn - Another Body
  • Ella Glendining - Is There Anybody Out There?
  • Alice Russell - If The Streets Were On Fire
  • Christopher Sharp - Bobi Wine: The People’s President [Also Directed By Moses Bwayo]

The Raindance Maverick Award

  • If The Streets Were On Fire - Alice Russell, Gannesh Rajah
  • Is There Anybody Out There? - Ella Glendining, Janine Marmot
  • Name Me Lawand - Edward Lovelace
  • Raging Grace - Paris Zarcilla, Chi Thai
  • Red Herring - Kit Vincent, Ed Owles

Best British Short Film

  • Christopher At Sea - Tom C J Brown, Laure Desmazières, Emmanuel-Alain Raynal, Pierre Baussaron, Amanda Miller, Hannah Stolarski, Nick Read, Emily-Jane Brown
  • Festival Of Slaps - Abdou Cissé, Cheri Darbon, George Telfer
  • Lions - Beru Tessema, Ama Ampadu
  • Muna - Warda Mohamed, Angela Moneke, Simon Hatton
  • The Talent - Thomas May Bailey, Emma D’arcy, Ellen Spence

Best International Independent Film

  • Anatomy Of A Fall - Justine Triet, Arthur Harari, Marie-Ange Luciani, David Thion
  • Fallen Leaves - Aki Kauriskmäki
  • Fremont - Babak Jalali, Carolina Cavalli, Marjaneh Moghimi, Sudnya Shroff, Rachael Fung
  • Monster - Hirokazu Kore-eda, Yuji Sakamoto, Genki Kawamura, Kenji Yamada
  • Past Lives - Celine Song, David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler

Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film 

  • Stephen Graham

Special jury prize 

  • We Are Parable 

Bifas 2023 craft winners (previously announced)

  • Best casting – Isabella Odoffin for How To Have Sex
  • Best cinematography – Jamie D. Ramsay for All Of Us Strangers
  • Best costume design – Buki Ebiesuwa for Femme
  • Best editing – Jonathan Alberts for All Of Us Strangers
  • Best effects – Jonathan Gales, Richard Baker for The Kitchen
  • Best music supervision – Connie Farr for All Of Us Strangers
  • Best make-up and hair design – Marie Deehan for Femme
  • Best original music – Kwes for Rye Lane
  • Best production design – Nathan Parker for The Kitchen
  • Best sound – Mark Jenkin for Enys Men