After Love triumphed at the British Independent Film Awards (Bifa), beating titles like Belfast and Boiling Point.
Aleem Khan’s portrayal of a relationship based on marital lies won six awards at the 24th ceremony, hosted by comedian Asim Chaudhry.
They included the coveted Best British Independent Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director for Khan, who said: ‘Does this actually happen, it’s so crazy there are honestly no words. .
“This film basically is about strangers seeing each other, I think right now, in the world we live in, we can get a lot out of that.”
Joanna Scanlan won the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a Muslim convert in After Love, revealing the secret life led by her late husband.
Scanlan, 60, dedicated his award to Khan’s mother. She said: âI want to thank Aleem’s mom, I met her and she lent me her clothes, she gave me a lesson in humility, a lesson in love.
âIt’s a love story and what happens when you lose it, the only way to learn to love again is to go through a lot.
“She’s my inspiration for this performance, there’s no question about it, so thank you.”
The awards night held in London was the second Bifa ceremony to take place in 2021, with the first taking place virtually in February when Sarah Gavron’s Rocks came out triumphant.
Despite leading the nominations this year with 11 nods, Sir Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical film Belfast about his childhood in Northern Ireland did not win any awards.
Boiling Point, starring Stephen Graham as a chef under pressure, received a Best Supporting Actress award, presented to Vinette Robinson.
She said: “Wow I’m so proud to be in this movie, it was made with such an amazing group of people with very little money, a lot of heart, dedication, it’s a real piece of work. ‘together.”
Riz Ahmed received the Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution for His Role in Encounter, Shifty, Four Lions and Mogul Mowgli at the 24th Annual Awards Ceremony.
During the award ceremony, Yann Demange declared: “He defended the point of view that is often ignored … the industry has not made room for Riz, he has carved out a place for himself and a whole generation.
Ahmed, 39, said: “I want to thank my teachers for telling me that if I was wrong in class I might be kicked out, but if I did on stage I might get a round of applause. “
The actor thanked his family for helping him “learn the art of storytelling”, and his sister for being “so dramatic.”
He added: “I grew up changing my coat, I thought to act was to be someone else, I hope the next 15 years is about learning to take off the masks and giving more of me – even, it is possible, so if you feel held, thank you for holding me.
Adeel Akhtar emerged victorious for Best Actor at the ceremony, defeating James Norton, Stephen Graham, Riz Ahmed and Jude Law.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw presented the recycled plastic prize to Akhtar, 41, who said he was “nervous” but thanked “the cast and crew” of the film Ali and Ava.
Luther star Ruth Wilson presented the award for Best Groundbreaking Performance to Nell Barlow of Sweetheart, who was unable to attend the ceremony to receive her award.
Sweetheart producer Michelle Antoniades took home the award for her and thanked her for being “the most amazing lead role.”
She went on to win her own breakthrough best producer award, adding: “This film was made with a lot of love and a Â£ 10 rating.”
Samuel Adewunmi, who presented the breakthrough producer award, said: “Shout out to Bifa, did you know these awards are made from recycled plastic.”
The Raindance Discovery Award winner and Best Documentary went to Poly Styrene.