London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Dame Judi Dench and Stephen Graham among nominees at British Independent Film Awards

Dame Judi Dench and Stephen Graham are among the big name nominees at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).

Dame Judi has been given the nod for her supporting role in Belfast – Sir Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical film about his childhood in Northern Ireland, which leads the awards with 11 nominations.

She’s joined by Caitriona Balfe, who is nominated for best actress, Ciaran Hinds for best supporting actor and youngster Jude Hill, who gets a nod for breakthrough performance.

Dame Judi Dench stars in Sir Kenneth Branagh's latest film. Pic: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
Image: Dame Judi Dench stars in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s latest film. Pic: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Stephen Graham gets recognition for his role in the one-shot film Boiling Point, also with 11 nominations, where he plays a chef.

Ray Panthaki, Vinette Robinson and Lauryn Ajufo are also up for nominations for their roles in the film.

Director Philip Barantini told Sky News the film “took a lot of planning and a lot of blood, sweat and tears” to make, adding that they shot the film four times over.

More on Judi Dench

Paying tribute to leading man Stephen Graham, Barantini added: “He’s amazing… because he’s so passionate and doesn’t put himself above anybody.

“So we come in, he doesn’t want a trailer, he doesn’t want special treatment over anybody else – he wants to be on the same level.

“For our film, it was a team effort, it’s an ensemble piece, and so he was a huge advocate of that.”

Subscribe to the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Lauryn Ajufo, who is nominated for breakthrough performance, told Sky News that the film is “epic” and was “very daunting at first”.

Ajufo added: “You got used to it at times and it was a lot of fun and everyone was super, super supportive.”

Boiling Point goes up against Ali & Ava, After Love, The Nest and The Souvenir Part II in the best independent British film category.

Belfast’s Balfe goes up against Carrie Coon for The Nest, Claire Rushbrook for Ali & Ava, Joanna Scanlan for After Love and Ruth Wilson for True Things for the best actress prize, while Boiling Point’s Graham competes with Riz Ahmed for Encounter, Adeel Akhtar for Ali & Ava, Jude Law for The Nest and James Norton for Nowhere Special for the best actor trophy.

Also bagging several nominations was Films After Love, Censor and The Souvenir Part II – all scoring nine nods each.

The awards were read out at the Curzon Soho cinema in central London by Sex Education star Mimi Keene and previous winner Samuel Adewunmi.

He told Sky News that independent films should be celebrated, describing them as the “heartbeat of British cinema”.

“We’ve got to keep pushing it, we’ve got to keep supporting it, we’ve got to keep making sure that we encourage people to go to the cinemas to see these because that’s that’s what matters the most.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 5 December, while the winners of the technical prizes will be announced on 19 November.