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British Independent Film Awards 2019 Winners: ‘For Sama,’ Renée Zellweger, ‘Parasite’ Score

The UK awards offer early insight into the indie movies that global voters want to support heading into the Oscar race.

For Sama

“For Sama”

The British Independent Film Awards, which took place in London on Sunday, offer early insight into the indie movies that awards voters want to support as we head into the thick of the Academy Awards race. See the full list of this year’s winners below.

The Syrian war portrait “For Sama,” from filmmakers Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, won Best British Independent Film, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Director. That film also took home Best Editing in London, and stateside is up for the PGA Award for Outstanding Documentary.

Renée Zellweger won Best Actress for her performance as Judy Garland in “Judy,” and remains at the top of the contenders for the Best Actress Oscar. Josh O’Connor won Best Actor for the relationship drama “Only You.” The British actor now seen in Netflix’s “The Crown” broke out with 2017’s gay romance “God’s Own Country,” which also won him a BIFA, and with a role in February’s “Emma” adaptation as Mr. Elton, we are about to see a lot more of this emerging star. Kristin Scott Thomas, most recently seen in a biting “Fleabag” cameo, took the Richard Harris honorary award — the ceremony’s equivalent to a lifetime achievement prize.

Bong Joon Ho’s surefire Oscar nominee and universally adored “Parasite” got a nice boost, taking home Best International Independent Film. The South Korean entry is the movie to beat for the Best International Feature Academy Award.

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TIFF premiere “The Personal History of David Copperfield” won Hugh Laurie the Best Supporting Actor prize. The satire also won Best Screenplay for director/writer Armando Iannucci and co-writer Simon Blackwell. Starring Dev Patel and featuring Iannucci’s trademark feisty banter, the comedy will be released by Fox Searchlight in May 2020 — a long way from its Toronto bow back in September.

Elsewhere, Ruthxjiah Bellenea took Best Supporting Actress for “The Last Tree,” which premiered at Sundance 2019 but has yet to be seen in U.S. theaters.

Last year, the festival’s top prize went to “The Favourite,” which earned 10 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film
KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS

Special Jury Prize
AMANDA NEVILL

Best British Independent Film
FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Best Director sponsored by Broadsword Event House
WAAD AL-KATEAB, EDWARD WATTS For Sama

Best Screenplay sponsored by BBC Films
ARMANDO IANNUCCI, SIMON BLACKWELL The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Documentary
FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Best Actress
RENÉE ZELLWEGER Judy

Best Actor
JOSH O’CONNOR Only You

Best Supporting Actress
RUTHXJIAH BELLENEA The Last Tree

Best Supporting Actor
HUGH LAURIE The Personal History of David Copperfield

Most Promising Newcomer
SAM ADEWUNMI The Last Tree

The Douglas Hickox Award (Debut Director) sponsored by Kodak & Pinewood
HARRY WOOTLIFF Only You

Debut Screenwriter sponsored by Film4
EMMA JANE UNSWORTH Animals

Breakthrough Producer
KATE BYERS, LINN WAITE Bait

The Raindance Discovery Award
CHILDREN OF THE SNOW LAND Zara Balfour, Marcus Stephenson, Mark Hakansson

Best Casting sponsored by Casting Society of America & Spotlight
SARAH CROWE The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Cinematography
BENJAMIN KRACUN Beats

Best Costume Design
SUZIE HARMAN, ROBERT WORLEY The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Editing sponsored by Intermission Film
CHLOE LAMBOURNE, SIMON McMAHON For Sama

Best Make-Up & Hair Design sponsored by MAC Cosmetics
JEREMY WOODHEAD Judy

Best Music sponsored by Universal Music Publishing Group
JACK ARNOLD Wild Rose

Best Production Design sponsored by Studio Juice
CRISTINA CASALI The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Sound supported by Halo Post
DAVID BOWTLE-McMILLAN, JOAKIM SUNDSTRÖM, ROBERT FARR Beats

Best British Short Film supported by BFI NETWORK
ANNA Dekel Berenson, Merlin Merton, Olga Beskhmelnitsyna

Best International Independent Film sponsored by Champagne Taittinger
PARASITE Bong Joon-ho, Jan Young-Hwan, Moon Yang-kwon, Sin-ae Kwak, Han Jin Won

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