The film “All of Us Strangers” wins both Best Film and Best Director at the British Independent Film Awards.

The British Independent Film Awards have awarded “All of Us Strangers,” a groundbreaking love story directed by Andrew Haigh and featuring Andrew Scott as a screenwriter coming to terms with the loss of his parents during his childhood, with the top honors for best picture, best director, and best screenplay.

Last month, the movie had won four awards in the craft category at the Bifas. These awards were for editing, cinematography, music supervision, and screenplay. At the ceremony held at Old Billingsgate in London on Sunday, the film received three additional awards. Along with director Haigh’s win, actor Paul Mescal was recognized as best supporting actor for his portrayal of a young man who starts a romance with Scott’s character.

The recent success at the awards is significantly elevating the momentum of a movie that marks Haigh’s transition into mainstream cinema. Haigh has previously received praise for his films Weekend (2012) and 45 Years (2015). At the Gotham Awards, which can be seen as the American equivalent of the Bifas, All of Us Strangers received four nominations but did not win any awards. The film will be released in the UK in January.

Andrew Haigh on stage

Meanwhile, Molly Manning Walker’s debut feature, How to Have Sex, won best lead performance for Mia McKenna-Bruce, who plays a 16-year-old navigating a wild and complicated summer holiday in Malia, while Shaun Thomas was – with Mescal – the joint winner of best supporting performance for his turn as an empathetic young man. The film had already taken best casting at the craft awards.

Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Trier’s tense courtroom drama, which took the Palme d’Or at Cannes in May, won best international feature; the film took the same prize, as well as best screenplay, at the Gothams.

Savanah Leaf, an ex-Olympic athlete in volleyball, won the award for best debut director for her drama Earth Mama, which follows the story of a pregnant single mother. Additionally, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and George MacKay received the award for best joint lead performance for their roles in Femme, a film about a drag queen and the person who attacks them while in the closet. Femme also received recognition in the craft categories for its costume design and hair and makeup.

Shaun Thomas and Mia McKenna-Bruce

Nida Manzoor won the award for best debut screenwriter for her story about two sisters, titled “Polite Society.” Charlotte Regan’s “Scrapper” was recognized as the breakthrough producer, and Vivian Oparah received the award for best breakthrough performance for her role in the romantic comedy “Rye Lane,” which also won for best original music.

The film “Biker Yarn: If the Streets Were on Fire” was awarded Best Documentary, and “The Taste of Mango” director Chloe Abrahams won Best Debut Documentary Director.

The Bifas were established 25 years ago to honor British productions that were not financially supported by a major studio. Actor Ray Winstone, a patron of Bifa, kicked off the event on Sunday evening. Comedians Lolly Adefope and Kiell Smith-Bynoe served as hosts, and actors such as Fiona Shaw, Zawe Ashton, Asa Butterfield, and Theo James presented awards.

Jodie Comer presented Stephen Graham with the Richard Harris award for outstanding contribution to British film. The special jury prize went to We Are Parable, a grassroots company that aims to promote and further audience interaction with Black cinema.

Molly Manning Walker

The past month has seen a surge in awards campaigning following the end of the actors’ strike on November 9th. Celebrities are now making up for lost time by actively promoting films that they anticipate may receive important accolades in 2024.

Top competitors in a particularly impressive year feature All of Us Strangers and another movie from a British filmmaker, Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest. The film tells the story of Rudolf and Helga Hoss, who created a perfect life for themselves and their kids near the Auschwitz wall, where Rudolf was the commander of the camp.

It is expected that Martin Scorsese’s epic film, Killers of the Flower Moon, will do well. Another film that is likely to do well is Alexander Payne’s 1970s comedy/drama, The Holdovers, which brings together the director and Sideways star Paul Giamatti.

Celine Song’s Past Lives, billed as a Brief Encounter for the new century, dominated the Gothams and is tipped for considerable silverware; other hopefuls include Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic, Maestro, Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos’s boisterous fantasy starring Emma Stone as a lustful reincarnated woman, and Cord Jefferson’s publishing satire American Fiction.

Two films that premiered just before the strike began are also expected to figure: Barbie and Oppenheimer. The nominations for the Golden Globe awards are announced on 11 December ahead of the ceremony on 7 January. Bafta nominations come on 18 January, and the ceremony follows a month later.

The list of nominees for the Oscars will be announced on February 23rd, and the awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be held on March 10th.


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