Thursday, December 01, 2005

British Independent Film Awards

The British Independent Film Awards were held last night at Hammersmith Palais, one of London's top venues for events and awards ceremonies. Hosted by Irish actor James Nesbitt and featuring presentations from industry figures such as Imelda Staunton, Vanessa Redgrave and Ken Loach, these BIFA's continue to grow in stature among the many awards for film. Established in 1998 with the aim of celebrating achievement in independently-funded British filmmaking, the awards also seek to recognise new talent and to promote British films and filmmaking to a wider public. These well-run awards have themselves been recognised within the awards industry: in 2003 they received two nominations at the Hollis Sponsorship Awards - for 'Best First Time Sponsorship' and 'Best Low Budget Sponsorship' - and won the award for Best Low-Budget Sponsorship. For the 2005 BIFAs, sponsors included Nokia, CineWorld Cinemas, Bloomberg and Variety.com. The BIFAs also have their own, custom designed, awards trophy. First commissioned in 1998 from sculptor Aaron McCartney, the design of the trophy was updated in 2001 by artist Lindsay Henderson of the studio Art for Glass. It features a flat glass award with an elegant curved design set on a curved base. Flat glass awards have emerged in recent years as the contemporary choice of trophy for a wide range of awards. For the record, the BIFAs awarded three honours to the film The Constant Gardener at Wednesday's ceremony. These included the Best Actor and Best Actress awards for Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz.