Extolled by US critics, but cooly received in the UK, British gangster drama Sexy Beast was finally feted in its home market. It triumphed at last night's British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), winning in all four categories in which it had been nominated.
Sexy Beast was named Best British Independent Film of the year. Its Jonathan Glazer and Ben Kingsley (pictured) were named best director and best actor respectively. In winning, Kingsley, beat co-star Ray Winstone, who had also been nominated. Louis Mellis and David Scinto were named best screenwriters.
The co-production, between Film Four, Recorded Picture Co and Spain's KanZaman also saw Jeremy Thomas feted as British producer of the year.
Best foreign-language independent film went to Wong Kar-Wai's In The Mood For Love, while Memento received the gong for best foreign independent film in English.
The event, in its fourth year, was a well attended affair held at the Park Lane Hotel in London's West End. Celebrities in attendance included Ian Hart, Joely Richardson, Timothy Spall, John Hurt, Stephen Frears and Kathy Burke. Industry heavyweights included Harvey Weinstein - with his brother Bob, winner of the FilmFour Special Jury Prize - Working Title duo Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Stephen Woolley. Richard Curtis received overwhelming audience approval for his Variety UK personality of the year award.
BIFA founder and Raindance organiser, Elliot Grove said that the calibre and number of eligible films showed the growing vitality of the UK industry. "Eight years ago when Raindance was formed only 11 films qualified, this year there were 84!"
British Independent Film Awards Winners 2001
Best British Independent Film
Best Foreign Independent Film - Foreign Language
In The Mood For Love
Best Foreign Independent Film - English Language
Ben Kingsley for Sexy Beast
Kate Ashfield for Late Night Shopping
Jonathan Glazer for Sexy Beast
The Douglas Hickox Award, for a British director's debut feature
Asif Kapadia for The Warrior
Louis Mellis and David Scinto for Sexy Beast
Most Promising Newcomer
Ben Whishaw for My Brother Tom
Best Technical Achievement
Roman Osin - The Warrior
Best Achievement in Production
Dave Pearce for South West Nine
British Producer of the Year
The Lifetime Achievement Award
The FilmFour Special Jury Prize
Bob and Harvey Weinstein
The Variety UK Personality of the Year