Venice Golden Lion-winner VeraDrake took four of the top awards and scooped a total of six prizes at lastnight's British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs).

The story of a well-meaningback-street abortionist was named best independent film, Mike Leigh was namedbest director and lead actors Imelda Staunton and Phil Davis were named bestactors. The film also won prizes for Eddie Marsan as best supporting actor andbest achievement in production.

Park Chan-wook's Oldboywas named best foreign-language film in a category which also included MotorcycleDiaries, Fahrenheit 9/11, Hero and Pieces Of April.

The only other film to winmultiple awards was Touching The Void, which was named best documentaryand earned cinematographer Mike Eley the prize for best technical achievement.

Other top prizes went toSimon Pegg and Edgar Wright for the screenplay of Shaun Of The Dead andAshley Walters was named best newcomer in Bullet Boy.

Outside the main prize list,producer Norma Heyman was given the Special Jury Award, Bob Hoskins, currentlyin Beyond The Sea and Vanity Fair, was given the Richard Harriscareer achievement award and Harry Potter novelist JK Rowling was namedVariety personality of the year.

British Independent Film Awards 2004

Best British IndependentFilm
Vera Drake

Best Actor
Phil Davis in Vera Drake

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake

Best SupportingActor/Actress
Eddie Marsan in Vera Drake

Most Promising Newcomer
Ashley Walters in Bullet Boy

Best Director
Mike Leigh for Vera Drake

Best Screenplay
Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright for Shaun Of The Dead

Douglas Hickox Award (DebutDirector)
John Crowley for Intermission

Best Technical Achievement
Mike Eley for Touching The Void

Best Achievement inProduction
Vera Drake

Best Foreign Film

Best Documentary
Touching The Void

The Raindance Award
The Barn

Best British Short Film
School Of Life

Richard Harris Award 2004
Bob Hoskins

Jury 2004 Award
Norma Heyman

Variety UK Personality ofthe Year Award
J K Rowling